• Gordon MacLellan

Dawn Chorus Day

Our bright and sunny spring seems to be returning to a more familiar damp and drizzly season but the beginnings have been made: the warmth has brought out flowers and bumblebees and butterflies and hoverflies. Have you noticed? And have you listened?

Really listened? Just stopped and opened your ears?

We seem to be full of natural sounds this spring. People keep talking about birdsong. It’s difficult to know if there are more birds about, or they are just louder than usual, or because there is less background noise from traffic we are paying more attention, or…or…

This is a good time to listen. Find a seat and stop (but not for too long) and just listen. This weekend features International Dawn Chorus Day (Sunday 3rd May), encouraging us to step outside early in the morning and enjoy that sunrise symphony

If, like me, you are useless at identifying birdsong, try visiting Mark Avery’s blog where Mark has been gathering birdsong recordings. Try it now, before the weekend, work with a friend if you have someone available and quiz each other on sound and song. Get your ear in

All this unfolds into a week of bird-themed blogs here at CelebrationEarth!. Sit at a window and watch. Step out into the garden and watch and listen. Go out into the twilight and find out what is happening. In these quiet evenings people are realising how often tawny owls call in the middle of town

If there is a space near you, how about taking some bird food and lay out a birdfeast. Then retire quietly and see who comes calling. The picture is of a Feast Mandala by artist Jo Thilwind.

What foods would you have included? What treats would you feature? Send us a photograph! Tell us who comes to plunder your picnic…

Our project partners, the RSPB, have a lot of useful information around Dawn Chorus Day (and longer term ways you could be involved). 40 million birds have disappeared from the UK since 1970, but there are many ways you can help slow that decline from providing some water to putting up a bird feeder. There are lots of things you can do to help – there’s a whole list on the RSPB website, including putting out suitable food scraps, hanging bird boxes or even making a bird bath from an upturned bin lid!

And if you want a special treat , tomorrow night you might have an evening Singing with Nightingales from The Nest Collective: "Listen, and look up, as the finest musicians in the land duet with the sweet sounds of the nightingale."

Black bird song

CelebrationEarth! then invites you to pause and celebrate birds, looking out, stepping out, listening out and taking the time to pause and appreciate this spring full of birds.

Thanks to our photographers and artists:

Chaffinch: c. I MacLellan

Food mandala: c Jo Thilwind

Blackbird: c Jill Kerr

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