The Dawn Chorus
It’s 6am! Damn, I overslept. I never oversleep. Well only sometimes. Ever since I can remember I’ve woken around dawn, as those first rays of light peek around the edge of the curtains and slide under the door.
But today1 of all days, I woke with a start; stumbled downstairs, making it to the back door first (quite a feat this), without tripping over the dogs and cats, scrapping for poll position. The cats always win - they streak out, with the dogs following like greyhounds out of the traps. All in good fun!
The sun streamed in. Golden for a moment before the rain clouds closed in. Silence! Only an odd Woodpigeon coo-cooing in the distant wood and the squawk of a startled pheasant. It was over.
Well that’s my story - and I’m sticking to it!
So for those who missed it, grab a cup of coffee (or tea), a chocolate digestive, or two (go on then I’ll have another) - and sink into your favourite chair ... Are you ready - are you sitting comfortably - then with a certain flourish and panache (put the cup down first) conduct your own ‘Chorus’
Play some, or all of the audio clips below together. Yes together (a nifty quirk of WordPress). Start with the Skylark or Song Thrush, which have the longest running time, then gradually bring in a few of the others - your choice ...
Have fun!Tomorrow, I’ll be up with the lark. I’ll leave the bedroom window open, curtains drawn back. I’ll be wide awake - listening ...
I’ve missed a few - the Nightingale for a lucky few; Wood Warbler and Goldfinch - everyone has their favourites: what are yours - I’d love to know. Do leave a comment and I’ll add them in ...
Maybe then I’ll see you later this evening - join me in a glass of wine, and read my companion post, if you haven’t already (revised and updated)!
And if, like me, you find many bird songs seem to sound much the same - Lev Parikian has put together a great guide to British bird songs, on his blog here ...
Oh and did you guess the bird in the header image - Blackbird, Woodlark, Meadow Pipit? A new one for me but I liked the picture. It’s a Meadowlark - a relative of our Starling!
The recordings in this post are used here under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license. These and many more can be found at - Xeno-Canto
... I was staying at a farmhouse in the New Forest, and on the side of the house where I slept there was a large arbor vitse in which a blackbird roosted every night on a level with my window. Now, every morning at half-past three this bird would begin to sing and go on repeating his song at short intervals for about half an hour. It was very silent at that time ; I could hear no other bird ; and the sound coming in at the open window from a distance of but five yards had such a marvellous beauty that I could have wished for no more blessed existence than to lie there, head on pillow, with the pale early light and the perfume of night-flowers in the room, listening to that divine sound.
Adventures with Birds - W H Hudson
So listen to his song once more ...
first light the blackbird’s song fills my room
- Taking place on the first Sunday of May (the 3rd May this year), International Dawn Chorus Day is the worldwide celebration of nature's greatest symphony. This year there are unlikely to be early morning walks with experts to help you enjoy a start to the day filled with birdsong. But remember, to just open your window - and listen...