Mid and East Antrim Borough ready to celebrate the Dawn Chorus ‘daily miracle’

Cllr Billy Ashe getting ready for International Dawn Chorus Day with Jack Hamill Adana Federachi and Martina Roscatova
Cllr Billy Ashe getting ready for International Dawn Chorus Day with Jack Hamill Adana Federachi and Martina Roscatova

International Dawn Chorus Day is the worldwide celebration of ‘nature’s daily miracle’ – bird song.

This year, International Dawn Chorus Day is on Sunday, May 1 and Mid and East Antrim Borough is hosting three specially organised walks so everyone can join in the dawn chorus experience.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough, Councillor Billy Ashe, said: “Spring is an excellent time to experience the world’s oldest wakeup call and dusk chorus. We have two ‘danders’ at dawn and an evening bird song walk to choose from, so we hope there is something for both the early birds and night owls to enjoy.

“We are committed to protecting and promoting the biodiversity in the Borough and one of the best ways to generate support and understanding of the natural world is to get people to experience the wonders of their local wildlife first-hand.

“We have some fantastic open spaces and a wide range of bird life, so I would encourage everyone to come along and enjoy this internationally significant event,” he said.

Experts will lead the groups through the parks identifying sounds from the first ‘cautious cheep’ to the last melody of the day. Mid and East Antrim is home to a wide range of species so there will be plenty of songs for enthusiastic twitchers and novices alike to identify and enjoy.

Expert Aidan Crean, who will be leading two of the walks, said: “The story goes that International Dawn Chorus Day began in the 1980s when broadcaster and environmentalist Chris Baines asked everyone to attend his birthday party at 4am so they could enjoy the dawn chorus with him.

“Since then International Dawn Chorus Day has grown from a small event to an annual international celebration with events held as far afield as the Caribbean and Antarctica.

“Why not get involved in your own local event in Ballymena, Carrickfergus or Larne?”

Event details:

Dawn Chorus Dander, Carnfunnock Country Park Larne, from 6am

Meeting at the Visitor Centre. £6 adult/£5 child & concession including breakfast. Booking essential, contact 028 2826 2471.

Dawn Chorus Walk, People’s Park, Ballymena, from 7.45am-9am, no booking required, meeting at The Pavilion

Evening Bird Song Walk, Bashfordsland Wood & Oakfield Glen, Carrickfergus, from 6.30pm-8pm, no booking required, meeting at Oakfield Community Centre