Dawn Chorus

This Sunday – May 7, 2017

Join Brett Westwood and a gang of unexpected bird lovers as BBC Radio 4 throws an all-nighter in search of the Dawn Chorus. Going on air just after midnight and staying up till 7am Brett will host a night ofconversation, story-telling, argument and explanation culminating in the live broadcast of the Dawn Chorus from Ham Wall Nature reserve in Somerset.

Other guests include, Jimi Goodwin, lead singer of Doves; Birds Brittania author Mark Cocker, Bird acoustics expert Dr. Jenny York, Natural Navigator Tristan Gooley and Singer Hanna Tuulikki.

Radio 4 is doing this as part of International Dawn Chorus day – a unique broadcast event hosted by Derek Mooney from RTE radio in Ireland – in which radio stations across Europe join together to track the rising sun across the continent from Moscow to Dublin. You’ll hear capercaillies in from Norway, bitterns in Somerset, bluethroats in Holland – it’s like the Eurovision Song contest, but with much better singing.

In our increasingly digital world Dawn Chorus provides a genuine encounter with the natural world on unmediated terms. There’s a lovely sense of anticipation as you hunt and you wait and you feel the sense of being really there – of the sudden excitement of a Tawny Owl at midnight, the joy of a cuckoo at 4am. And as we wait and we listen we take the opportunity to have a series of interesting conversations about wildlife and literature, music, evolution and conservation.