Click on the flag to view more images from Northern Ireland's Dawn Chorus
Country: Northern Ireland
As the sun sets on the edge of Belfast lough @davidgmaxwell and @harebells are preparing to join broadcasters across the world for a night of live coverage on International Dawn Chorus Day.Join us from @RSPBNI Window on Wildlife at midnight on BBC Radio Ulster @NatureRTE #IDCD pic.twitter.com/r9kcuk4Acc— BBC Radio Ulster (@bbcradioulster) May 4, 2019
Location: WOW - Window on Wildlife, within the harbour estate in Belfast
Belfast’s Window on Wildlife is 4.5 miles from Belfast city centre, located in Belfast Harbour Estate and looking out on to Belfast Lough. RSPB took over management of the site in 1998. The site is designated as a Special Protection area and Ramsar site, as well as an Area of Special Scientific Interest. The Belfast WOW centre was opened to the public in 2015 and offers spectacular and up-close views of birds, including the star species here: the black-tailed godwits. Belfast Lough provides a seasonal home for birds from all over the world. A wet grassland site of 13 hectares overlooking an open lagoon, the main attractions are wildfowl and wintering waders, while raptors are often spotted on site too. More than 200 species of birds have been recorded here. For more information on WOW, visit rspb.org.uk.
With just under an hour to go until we join the International Dawn Chorus 2019, check out some earlier scenes at @RSPBNI Window on Wildlife in Belfast's harbour estate @davidgmaxwell @harebells @NatureRTE #IDCD pic.twitter.com/8q6IcWLfWh— BBC Radio Ulster (@bbcradioulster) May 4, 2019
On Air: David Maxwell (reporter) & Claire Barnett (bird expert)
David Maxwell: David is an experienced presenter and reporter with BBC Northern Ireland.For a decade he reported for BBC Newslinebefore making a move to one of BBC Radio Ulster’s most popular programmes – Gardeners’ Corner. Taking on this role has allowed him to indulge his passion for gardening and share wonderful gardens in Ireland and Britain with the large listenership.
Claire Barnett: Claire has been working for RSPB NI since 2006 but has been listening to and monitoring birds since she was a teenager. Growing up on a farm, she happily started her RSPB career giving advice to farmers to create more wildlife-friendly spaces on their land. Now a Conservation Team Leader, her expertise has increased to cover a wide range of bird species who depend on different habitats.
Blackcap: The blackcap is a distinctive greyish warbler, the male has a black cap, and the female a chestnut one. Its delightful fluting song has earned it the name 'northern nightingale'. Although primarily a summer visitor, birds from Germany and north-east Europe are increasingly spending the winter in the UK.Chiffchaff: The chiffchaff is a small olive-brown warbler which actively flits through trees and shrubs, with a distinctive tail-wagging movement. Although not always the case, chiffchaffs often have dark legs and a short pale eye stripe, whereas the willow warbler - a very similar looking species - has pale legs and a long yellow eye stripe. It is readily distinguished by its song, from where it gets its name. It picks insects from trees and also flies out to snap them up in flight.
Common tern: These delightful silvery-grey and white birds have long tails which have earned them the nickname 'sea-swallow'. They have a buoyant, graceful flight and frequently hover over water before plunging down for a fish. They are often noisy in company and breed in colonies. The common tern is the tern species most likely to be found inland.
Sedge warbler: The sedge warbler is a small, quite plump, warbler with a striking broad creamy stripe above its eye and greyish brown legs. It is brown above with blackish streaks and creamy white underneath. It is a summer visitor, and winters in Africa, south of the Sahara Desert. Its song is a noisy, rambling warble compared to the more rhythmic song of the reed warbler.Song thrush: A familiar and popular garden songbird whose numbers have declined markedly on farmland and in towns and cities. It's smaller and browner than a mistle thrush with smaller spotting. Its habit of repeating song phrases distinguish it from singing blackbirds. It likes to eat snails which it breaks into by smashing them against a stone with a flick of the head.
Swift: The swift is a medium-sized aerial bird, which is a superb flier. It evens sleeps on the wing! It is plain sooty brown, but in flight against the sky it appears black. It has long, scythe-like wings and a short, forked tail. It is a summer visitor, breeding across the UK, but most numerously in the south and east. It winters in Africa.
BBC Radio Ulster's Tweets Showcasing Star Bird Species:
In the run up to International Dawn Chorus Day, @DavidGMaxwell is showcasing some of our star bird species – today it’s the woodpecker ??— BBC Northern Ireland (@BBCnireland) April 29, 2019
‘The Dawn Chorus Live’ is this Saturday night from midnight until 7AM on Sunday morning #idcd pic.twitter.com/XA1Jr636rt
In the run up to International Dawn Chorus Day, @DavidGMaxwell is showcasing some of our star bird species – today it’s the kingfisher ??— BBC Radio Ulster (@bbcradioulster) April 30, 2019
‘The Dawn Chorus Live’ with @naturerte begins this Saturday night from midnight until 7AM on Sunday morning #idcd pic.twitter.com/fgv8YNVjbP
In the run up to International Dawn Chorus Day, @DavidGMaxwell is showcasing some of our star bird species – today it’s the long-tailed tit ??— BBC Radio Ulster (@bbcradioulster) May 1, 2019
‘The Dawn Chorus Live’ with @naturerte begins this Saturday night from midnight until 7AM on Sunday morning on @BBCRadioUlster #idcd pic.twitter.com/ZI2fY3y3e4
We're showcasing our local birds for International Dawn Chorus Day and today it's our little punk rocker, the goldcrest! ?? ‘The Dawn Chorus Live’ with @naturerte is on this Saturday night from midnight until 7AM on Sunday morning with @DavidGMaxwell on BBC Radio Ulster #idcd pic.twitter.com/SDRIHJiqQr— BBC Radio Ulster (@bbcradioulster) May 2, 2019
The marathon runners of the bird world, swallows clock up HUGE distances! ??— BBC Radio Ulster (@bbcradioulster) May 3, 2019
For International Dawn Chorus Day, ‘The Dawn Chorus Live’ with @naturerte is on this Saturday night from midnight until 7AM on Sunday morning with @DavidGMaxwell on BBC Radio Ulster #idcd pic.twitter.com/jlJTJAmUkr