Dawn Chorus 2017 - Contributors & Participants

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Thanks to the European Broadcasting Union, we were absolutely delighted to be joined for our 22nd Dawn Chorus by broadcasters and listeners right across Europe and India, as we followed the wave of light sweeping from East to West as Dawn broke.  We were able to listen in to the birdsong from twenty locations in twelve countries, from the searing heat of India through to the chilly climes of Iceland, as we followed this ornithological opera breaking across six time zones!


Country: IRELAND

Broadcaster: RTÉ Radio 1

Location: DUBLIN - St. Anne's Park, Raheny & North Bull Island

Presenter: Derek Mooney

Bird Experts & Guests: Niall Hatch, Richard Collins, Eric Dempsey, Niamh ni Cholmain (Dublin City 

Key Species: Blackbirds; Robins; Chaffinches; Treecreepers; Little Egret; Grey Heron; Skylark (Bull Island)

The Skylark is one of the species that we are hoping to hear on the North Bull Island (photo: Stephen McAvoy, BirdWatch Ireland)

***FREE EVENT ON MAY 18th*** St. Anne's Park - Red Stables Free Guided Walk and Talk on Birdsong and Dusk Chorus

From 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm join Ricky Whelan, BirdWatch Ireland and DCC Parks staff on a Dusk Chorus to hear the birds singing.  You will hear a wide range of garden and parkland songbirds from Blackbirds and Robins to Chaffinches and Tree creepers.  Walk starts at the Red Stables, and goes through the woods and down through chestnut meadow to the duck pond.  Visit the locations of the RTÉ Radio 1 Dawn Chorus broadcasts within the park.  You will need sturdy footwear and rain gear.  As you walk, listen to the story of the Park’s past history as a home for the Guinness family.  Hear about the celebrated Follies, and learn about St Anne’s contribution today to the prestigious UNESCO Dublin Bay Biosphere, whose purpose is to inspire a positive future by connecting people and nature today.

Location: CORK - Curragheen River

Reporter: John O'Halloran

Bird Expert: Pat Smiddy

Key Species: Dipper (Europe’s only aquatic songbird)

Dipper (photo: Shay Connolly / BirdWatch Ireland)

Location: DONEGAL - Carrickfinn

Reporter & Bird Expert: Marie Duffy

Key Species: Corncrake

Corncrake - Photo: Colum Clarke / BirdWatch Ireland

Corncrake - Photo: Colum Clarke / BirdWatch Ireland

Location: WESTMEATH - Lough Ennell

Reporter: Terry Flanagan

Bird Experts & Guests: Eugene Dunbar

Key Species: Dabchicks; Moorhens

Dabchick (Photo: Michael Finn/ BirdWatch Ireland)

Dabchick (photo: Michael Finn / BirdWatch Ireland)

Location: CLARE - The Burren

Reporter: Eanna ni Lamhna

Bird Experts & Guests: Gordon D'Arcy

Key Species: Cuckoo

Cuckoo (photo: Marcin Karetta/BirdWatch Ireland)


Broadcaster: BBC Radio Ulster & BBC Radio Foyle

Location: Castle Espie Wetlands Centre, Strangford Lough, Co. Down

Reporter: Darryl Grimason

Bird Expert: Dr. Bob Brown

Key Species: Black Tailed Godwits & Black Headed Gulls, Song thrush, and linnet

Black-Headed Gull (Ronnie Martin; BirdWatch Ireland)

Black-Headed Gull (Ronnie Martin; BirdWatch Ireland)


Broadcaster: BBC Radio 4

Location: Ham Wall Nature Reserve, Somerset

Presenters: Brett Westwood & Will Young

Key Species: Bittern


Country: INDIA

Broadcaster: All-India Radio

Location: Soor Sarovar Bird Sanctuary, Agra

Reporter: Sunit Tandon

Bird Expert: Ambassador Sudhir Vyas & Zoologist Dr. Surya Prakash

Key Species: Indian Peafowl, Jungle Bush Quail & Asian Koel

Asian Koel

Country: FINLAND

Broadcaster: YLE - Radio Suomi & Areena

Location: Lohja

Reporter: Minna Pyykkö

Bird Expert: Jan Södersved

Key Species: Willow warbler, blackbird

Willow Warbler (photo: Michael Finn / BirdWatch Ireland)


Broadcaster: LRT

Location: Zuvintas Lake (BIOSPHERE)

Reporter: Vaida Pilibaityte

Bird Expert: Arunas Pranaitis, director of Zuvintas Biosphere Reserve

Key Species: Eurasian Bittern and Common Crane

Common Crane (photo: Minozig/Wikipedia)

Country: AUSTRIA

BirdLife International Partner: BirdLife Österreich

Location: Lake Neusiedl (a UNESCO world heritage site)

Reporter & Bird Expert: Leander Khil

Key Species: Great Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Savi's Warbler, Rare Moustached Warbler, Nightingale, Great Bittern

Eurasian Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus).  Photo: Leander Khil


Broadcaster: Radio VARA

Location: De Biesbosch National Park near Rotterdam

Reporter: Rob Buiter

Bird Expert: Theo Muusse (Ornithologist/forester from the company ‘Staatsbosbeheer’)

Key Species: Nightingales, bluethroats, bitterns, Cetti’s warblers

Blue Throat (Shay Connolly / BirdWatch Ireland)

Bluethroat (Shay Connolly / BirdWatch Ireland)

Country: NORWAY

Broadcaster: NRK

Location: Tjeldstø Nature Reserve in the far west of Hordaland

Reporter: Helge Søfteland

Bird Expert: Julian Bell

Key Species: Greylag Geese, Whooper Swans

Greglag Goose (photo: Cormac Byrne / BirdWatch Ireland)

Country: POLAND

BirdLife International Partner: OTOP

Location: Polesie National Park

Reporter: Dr. Jarek Krogulec

Bird Expert: Joanna Woloszkiewicz, PhD student of Poznan, University of Life Sciences

Key Species: Aquatic warbler, Sedge warbler, Curlew, Thrush nightingale

Curlew (John Curlew / BirdWatch Ireland)

Country: SPAIN

Broadcaster: RTVE - Radio Clásica

Location: Odiel Marshes Nature Reserve, Huelva

Reporter: Arístides Carra

Bird Expert: Sergio Pagán

Key Species: Spoonbill, Flamingo

Flamingoes (photo: Kaniri/ Pixabay)

Country: ICELAND

BirdLife International Partner: RSPB NI & Fuglavernd

Location: Flói, a coastal Wetlands Reserve

Reporter: Kendrew Colhoun

Bird Expert: Assoc Prof Gunnar Thor Hallgrimsson

Key Species: Brent geese, whimbrel, black tailed godwits and oystercatchers

Oystercatcher (photo: Babs Müller/ Pixabay)

In addition to all these countries, we will also chat to reporters across the UK (Wolverhampton, Suffolk, Exeter and the Isle of Man) and Ireland (Drogheda and Monkstown in Dublin).



Contact the Show

E-mail: mooney@rte.ie

Facebook: facebook.com/rtenature

Twitter: @NatureRTE

Presenter: Derek Mooney

Series Producer: Ana Leddy

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