Top events for International Dawn Chorus Day

As well as being the universal date for all fathers to make terrible Star Wars puns, 4 May is International Dawn Chorus Day.

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Since the first event at Moseley Bog, Birmingham, in 1984, this celebration of all things birdsong has become a global event.

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We’ve compiled a round-up of some of the best IDCD early-morning activities from around the country. Visitors will be able to listen to many differing species including Blackbirds, Robins, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs as they begin their day.

Remember, all of these events are early starts, so be sure check details on the website and set your alarms! Booking necessary in some cases.

Channel Islands

Alderney

A dawn chorus walk to the lighthouse, listening to birdsong, learning about the birds’ calls, before a trip up the Quesnard Lighthouse followed by a full English breakfast made with local ingredients and produce. Some height and health restrictions apply for the lighthouse climb. Please check the IDIC website for details.

Gloucestershire

Bradley Stoke

Join the Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group as they walk through the nature reserve and identify songbirds. Cameras and binoculars are recommended and everyone is welcome.

Prestbury

Participants will meet at St Mary’s Church on Mill Street at 4:30am and spend some time listening to the dawn chorus, trying to pick out a few of the soloists – before taking a leisurely stroll around the fields surrounding the village.

Hertfordshire

Cassiobury Park Local Nature Reserve

Join Hertfordshire and Middlesex Wildlife Trust Reserves Officer, Rob Hopkins, as he and other visitors greet the dawn with a magical walk around Cassiobury Park Local Nature Reserve.

Thorley Wash Nature Reserve

Reserves Officer Jenny Sherwen and Chris Dee from Hertfordshire Bird Club and British Trust for Ornithology talk you through the dawn chorus at Thorley Wash Nature Reserve. Listen out for the songs of resident birds and spring migrants. They’ll also be taking bat detectors along too listen for bats along the way.

Norfolk

Hoveton Great Broad Nature Trail

Take a short trip at sunrise along the river to a nature trail where walkers will meet their guide. The group will set out, listening for and identifying the birds and in this picturesque part of East Anglia. After the walk, ferry returns to Salhouse Broad and a full English breakfast.

Northern Ireland

Murlough Nature Reserve, Keel Point

All are welcome to get up bright an early with the birds for this gentle walk around Murlough Nature Reserve led by Mourne Heritage Trust. This is a chance to experience and enjoy the early wildlife and learn how to distinguish individual songs of the dawn chorus. Bring binoculars if you have them, and sturdy footwear is recommended. As with many of these events, there will be hot drinks and a breakfast on offer too.

Northumberland

Kielder Castle, Northumberland

Meeting at Kielder Castle, take an early morning walk through England’s largest forest. You’ll enjoy breakfast the castle café and venture into the forest where you will be surrounded by birdsong.

Scotland

Loch Lomond RSPB Nature Reserve

Take it all in at the beautiful Loch Lomond, as the birds sing to greet the morning in this idyllic spot which is home to the RSPB nature reserve running this event. The conservational body will have experts on hand to guide visitors through which songs they can hear, and a hot drink and breakfast roll will also be served.

RSPB Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire

This gentle walk along the reserve trails listening for bird song is not just for ornithological enthusiasts. Families and newcomers are welcome too. Breakfast and a hot drink will be provided. Experts will point out the songs and calls of many different types of birds, including sedge and willow warbler, reed bunting, chaffinch, blue tit, robin, blackbird and song thrush.

Somerset

RSPB Ham Wall, Glastonbury

Keep an ear out for Bitterns as you make your way around what has been dubbed the Mr Boombastic Dawn Chorus by the organizers. These rare birds could show off their booming vocals, making the morning a real treat for those in attendance. After the show, breakfast will be served at the nearby Meare Manor Hotel.

RSPB Swell Wood, Fivehead

Listen to the incredible sounds of woodland birds in all their spring glory in Swell Woods. There will be a warden on hand to help identify each of the songs and answer our questions. After all the excitement, The Crown Inn at Fivehead will serve a full English breakfast (included in price). Mornings don’t get much better than this.

Wales

Elan Valley Visitor Centre, Radnorshire

In the heart of Wales lies the Elan Valley. The visitor centre, on the edge of Elan river as it flows into the Caban-coch reservoir, is the starting point for this celebration of International Dawn Chorus Day. Join a local bird expert for a stroll through Cnwch woodland discovering birds and their songs. An optional breakfast awaits your return to the visitor centre.

Yorkshire

Rectory Park, Dewsbury

A treat for all the family as Rectory Park goes wild on both Saturday Evening and Sunday morning. The evening events will take a look a the bats and moths that inhabit the night sky, while as sun rises on the Sunday morning, attention turns to the Birds and insects that serenade the dawn.

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For more information and more events in your area, visit the International Dawn Chorus Day website.