Ireland day 0593. Saturday 14 May 2023- Dawn Chorus *

Ireland day 0593. Saturday 14 May 2023- Dawn Chorus
Today’s summary Got up v early to meet at Killiney Hill car park at 3:45am to go on a Dawn Chorus walk with expert birdwatcher Niall Hatch.   Back by about 7am then Val went to work.   I spent the day doing housework and getting the dinner ready
Today’s weather Dry and bright most of the day with just a light shower at about 7am.  Light north westerly wind.   Appx 13C
Today’s overview location
(The blue mark shows the location of our route)
Close-up location
(The blue line shows where we walked)
(Click button below to download GPX of today’s walk as recorded, or see interactive map at bottom with elevations corrected):
GPX Dawn Chorus Killiney

You can download a short audio recording of this morning’s Dawn Chorus by clicking on the button below:

AUDIO Dawn Chorus Killiney



(Summary blog only.   Last full blog was Day 0368).

Not a “normal” day at all today.   I’m not at all a morning person so getting up at 2:40 am today was an absolute anathema.   But very much worth it because once we were up, we jumped into the car and drove round the M50 to join a Birdwatch Ireland event on Killiney Hill.

This morning’s was an exploration of the Dawn Chorus, which was ably led by the very knowledgeable Niall Hatch.   We met at just before 4am and the first blackbird started singing at about 4:22.   Interestingly the birds with the biggest eyes sense the dawn first, and are the first to start singing.   And the singing birds are always male.

We climbed up Killiney Hill as the sun rose – and having the whole hill to ourselves in the dawn light was almost as memorable as the sound of the birds.   They will all have finished singing in the dawn by the early summer, apparently.   It’s all part of the mate selection process.

We finished about 6:30, by which time it was almost fully light.   Val and I were swiftly back in the flat – it’s amazing how enjoyable driving can be when there are no other cars about – and treated ourselves to sausage sandwiches, tea, and a short sleep.

Then just before 9, Val – with a fortitude I can only imagine – got up and went to work.   I felt duty bound to contribute in a small way, so also got up, hoovered the flat and did some laundry.   The rest of the day was spent practicing some Spanish, going on a short walk, and then preparing dinner.  An early night will definitely be called for today!

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

Gathering in the gloom, just as the first light starts at about 4:30 am Looking over Killiney Bay towards Bray Head
The Killiney Obelisk Dawn breaking over our shoulders, with Sorrento terrace just to the left of my head
There was a good turn out this morning, despite the ungodly hour.   At least fifty participants on the walk, I estimated Looking over to Sorrento Terrace and Dalkey Island.   The small islet beyond Dalkey Island is called Muglins, and there is (or was) a lighthouse on it.
In the woods as it began to get lighter.   The white flowers are Three Cornered Leeks and although they look pretty they are another invasive weed, and crowd out native species like bluebells.
Interactive map

(Elevations corrected at  GPS Visualizer: Assign DEM elevation data to coordinates )

Total distance: 2274 m
Max elevation: 147 m
Min elevation: 90 m
Total climbing: 124 m
Total descent: -124 m
Total time: 02:19:07
Download file: Dawn Chorus Killiney compressed corrected.gpx

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