We start off the show this evening with an e-mail from listener James, who has asked us to identify a mystery bird that he can hear outside his house. His mystery bird is a snipe:
And if you have a mystery bird that you would like us to identify, please send your recording to firstname.lastname@example.org!
On Sunday week, May 3rd, just as the world is heading for the land of nod, our airwaves will be coming alive to the beautiful sounds of birdsong as we celebrate the magical phenomenon known as the Dawn Chorus. From midnight until 6am, here on RTÉ Radio 1, Derek will be broadcasting live from Cuskinny Marsh Nature Reserve in Co. Cork.
Male Blackbird (photo by Ken Kinsella)
In a marathon broadcast, running right through the night, he'll be linking up with a host of reporters in locations all across the country, from Glenveagh National Park in Co. Donegal, to Lough Boora Discovery Park in Co. Offaly, and from the Burren National Park in Co. Clare to Áras an Uachtaráin in Dublin.
Male Chaffinch (photo by Michael Finn)
Some of Ireland's leading ornithologists and wildlife experts will be with us including Niall Hatch, Terry Flanagan, Eric Dempsey, Dave Duggan from the National Parks & Wildlife Service, as well as Dr. Richard Collins and Eanna ni Lamhna.
There’ll also be a chance to hear some wonderful wildlife documentaries.
Male Reed Bunting (photo by Colum Clarke)
And for the first time in the programme's 20-year history, we'll be linking up with our colleagues in BBC Radio Ulster, as they carry all six hours of the Mooney Goes Wild Dawn Chorus live across Northern Ireland. We'll have contributions from BBC Radio Ulster presenter Anne Marie McAleese and bird expert Dot Blakely, and this evening Derek catches up with Anne Marie and Dot to look forward to the Dawn Chorus.
Well, one man who’s been taking part in the Mooney Goes Wild Dawn Chorus pretty much from the start is Cobh’s very own Jim Wilson, an ornithologist, and he joins us now from the RTÉ studios in Cork to tell us more about what we might expect from this extraordinary broadcast...
Ten years ago, Mooney Goes Wild teamed up with the RTÉ Guide to produce a very special CD celebrating the Dawn Chorus. It was extremely popular, and this week, to mark twenty years of Mooney Goes Wild, we have teamed up once more to give you another chance to hear these remarkable recordings.
Just buy a copy of the RTÉ Guide (on sale Monday, April 26th), and scan the QR code on the front cover to listen to five tracks which explain the various aspects of the Dawn Chorus!
And the 20th birthday celebrations continue! Next Friday, May 3rd, Rory Cowan (from Mrs. Brown's Boys), Blathnáid ni Chofaigh, and others will officially unveil a new audio-visual installation at Cork Airport, where visitors will be able to read about and listen to the songs of the Dawn Chorus. So if you are in the Cork area next Friday, the launch will take place in the main entrance hall at 11:30am - we're looking forward to meeting you there!