At around half past four in the morning I struggled out of my sleeping bag and began to walk east, carrying my bulky wooden mic baffle on its tripod. A small wood drew close and there was a brief pinpoint of light among the tree trunks. I stopped then moved on: the light was obscured. Birds hadn't stopped calling all night but now the intensity and variety of cries and songs was growing.
I set the tripod down on a path running between the wood to the north and the reed-beds of New Fen to the south. The pre-amp and recorder were switched on. I listened briefly through headphones and swivelled the baffle this way and that before noticing how the flights of ducks and geese seemed to go from east to west. I set the baffle and its pair of mics to face south, then went to sit on a tree stump about forty yards away. For a short while everything felt unfamiliar while the dawn chorus took over my thoughts, as though suddenly immersed in a remote past.