Sunday, May 14, 2006

Dawn Chorus

Have redeemed myself for failing to get up early for the Easter service on Bray Head! Yes indeed, I did get up at 4:00 a.m. this morning to travel from a friend's house in Glendalough to meet up with Birdwatch Ireland at the Upper Lake car park to hear the dawn chorus. Apparently similar groups were meeting all over Ireland as May is the best time for such an event. Despite rainy drizzle and the mist rolling through the valley, two lots of about thirty people headed off bravely on a walk led by ornithologists. They identified the various calls and birdsong of robins, wrens, chaffinches, song thrushes, jackdaws, great tits, and blue tits. My favourite, as always, was the hoarse cooing of the wood pigeons. There was also an occasional squawk from a wild pheasant. We were told things I didn't know about birds. What a hard life they live -- most don't survive beyond 12 months -- yet there they are, singing their hearts out. Meanwhile, I made some notes for those scenes in The Light-Bearer's Daughter set in Glendalough.

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