Alone with the Dawn Chorus

The Dawn Chorus begins in first light.

Morning has broken

Waking early the other day, I suddenly decided get up and listen to the dawn chorus. Opening the patio door wide I sat there ready to enjoy. I was in for a magical moment: 

All is quiet in the surrounding houses with only the odd noise of traffic. To be alone like this in the stillness is a delightful experience. I can begin to feel I’m hearing Eden’s echoes amidst the stillness and untarnished beauty of that first morning.

‘Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird’

All is hush’d and the heart listens‘  — I have a front seat in the ‘stalls’ and I’m ready and listening.

At 4.15 am the dawn chorus opens with a blackbird whistling in a neighbouring garden, followed by the responses from other blackbirds in the surrounding area of the village. Soon a whole host of different songs begin to ring out around me. I’m very surprised to realise how many birds there are here.

Dawn chorus cds
If you haven’t heard the Dawn Chorus recently go online to hear a recording. It might inspire you to get up early too !

The ever-present robins join the blackbirds, soon followed by the little wrens with their powerful voices. The quieter songs of the dunnocks add their undertone with the general accompaniment of blue and great tits. Not to be out-done the different finches add their contribution.

Everyone seems to want a part in this wonderful lyrical rhapsody. I can also identify a willow warbler. (How amazing to have this small bird in neighbouring gardens all the way from Africa !).  All through, I’m conscious of the constant soft ‘cooing’ of the wood pigeons in the background.

As the volume increases, I soon lose track of the individual songs as the flow of impassioned melody grows. But after about 30 minutes the volume begins to fade. A thrush, coming late to the concert, makes the most of this opportunity for a solo on its own. Its beautiful voice echoes around.

With the increasing light the calm is restored as breakfast beckons for the birds – and an early cup of tea for me.

A garden of trees. Ideal for the Dawn Chorus
Our back garden full of trees (our neighbours’ and our own) creates a sort of ‘edge-of-woodland’ effect – ideal for birds and the Dawn Chorus.

A Magical Moment

It’s a magical moment and I sit enchanted by the glorious sound. The familiar village and the surrounding gardens are transformed into another world. Something wonderful is coming out of the ordinary. This is sublime ethereal music. It’s as if I’m part of it all. 

How wonderful that all this glorious sound is brought to me here, right to my open patio door. I haven’t had to go and search for it.

I’m left with a deep sense of calm and well-being. I’ve been enriched and inspired with nature’s beauty once again.  An inner glow of having witnessed another moment of glory goes with me into the day. This has been ‘Listening with the Heart‘ indeed.

In February in ‘No Silent Spring Please’  I voiced the fears of a silent spring. Today’s experience sets such concerns reassuringly to rest, for the time being at least.

What waste – all this performance passing most of us by unnoticed as we sleep. How many dawn choruses have I missed already this spring? I think this calls for some more early rising soon !



9 thoughts on “Alone with the Dawn Chorus

  1. Richard, thank you for commenting on my blog, as it led me to yours. Your description of the dawn chorus is marvelous and its details resonate with me, as I experience much the same thing here on the other side of the pond. I look forward to reading more of your posts. ~Lynn


  2. Delighted to hear back from you. I remember hearing a lecture at school about the Audubon Society of America and the birds in the USA. Different birds, but I’m sure the Dawn Chorus is just as wonderful.. Mine were in our village gardens. In one of our West Sussex woods it would be even better.


  3. It’s so rare that we get the chance to listen to the music of the natural world anymore. It mostly gets drowned out by human noise. Your post is a timely reminder to me to seek out those birdsongs and wood chants before they entirely disappear.


  4. Great to hear from you. My dawn chorus experience was brought to me, free with no travelling needed. If we look, there is beauty all around us. Sadly, in Britain we miss the traditional sound of the cuckoo in spring. I’m commenting on their serious decline in my next post. Enjoy your travels far or near.
    – Richard


  5. How true. I’m about to go out and take some time to watch and listen to it birds. I’ve been watching them from inside this morning so far, as the weather has turned much cooler and I’m trying to talk myself into going out there. I guess I just need to dress warm and get it there. The sun may come out eventually and warm things a bit. Beautiful photos, by the way.


    1. Our birds”Dawn Chorus’ is at its peak in early May here. My experience of it in May was exhilarating. Things are much quieter now, though its always interesting to discover how much birdsong there is at any season. Even sitting listening by an open window in winter can bring some pleasant surprises. Happy listening!

      Liked by 1 person

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