Above: two rival male Robin’s have a little tete-a-tete and one holds onto a worm! Taken at the children’s play house located at the coffee shop on the grounds of Killruddery.
My husband thinks I am for the birds these days! He may be right but I don’t care – I have discovered that during the month of May the dawn chorus is insane! I recently took part in a down chorus walk on the Killruddery estate in Bray, Co Wicklow and I had forgotten how amazing the chorus is. Years ago when walking home from the night before, I didn’t appreciate the volume and intensity of tiny birds singing their song. On my 4:30am car journey to my destination I was giggling to myself at the numbers of young men walking home – alone!! I parked my car and was glad to see up to 20 other nature enthusiasts, you see I am not the only one for the birds!
But, just think about this for a minute – when we say that a person is “for the birds” we mean this in a negative way. WHY is this negative??? If someone is free and joyous why is this negative?? Birds are amazing creatures and the reason they sing at dawn and dusk I learned, was not only for the obvious reason of attracting a mate, but also to keep their territory and feeding ground in check. They are singing to tell all the other birds – hey its me and I made it safely through the night/day!
May is the best month for the dawn chorus because all of the birds have mated and they are more territorial and migratory birds are arriving back. I can only say getting up at 5am one morning during May is something to do in your life time – It will amaze you! The volume and intensity is something I was awe struck by.
Check out Birdwatch Ireland or your local birdwatch group for gatherings and events. Killruddery are doing another dawn chorus walk on Sunday May 18th at 5am. It is for members only so you will need to check it out here.
On the subject of Killruddery and Birds – there are regular Falconry displays in the gardens in Killruddery and for children and adults with an interest it is well worth the visit. Above is a Lanner Falcon – check out more about this cool bird of prey here, but these birds helped fighter jets and Rolls Royce develop some interesting scientific things and solve some of their problems – they go that fast and have adapted some features (like their nostrils – when diving they don’t pass out from the g-force) features like this have been adapted for RR airplane engines. AMAZING birds.