Dawn Chorus

Sunday 4th May 2014


Town End Close nature reserve

This was an opportunity to listen to the dawn chorus in Girton, as part of International Dawn Chorus Day. Twenty-two brave people got up early and met at Town End Close nature reserve. Holly Rumble passed around a parabolic microphone to demonstrate directional birdsong recording. It was a cold start, but quickly brightened into pink skies. We heard or saw pheasants, a barn owl, a kestrel, great tits, blue tits, dunnocks, blackbirds, robins, a greenfinch, a green woodpecker, a chiffchaff, magpies, and crows.

We were joined by Girton resident and Associate Lecturer in Science Education (Faculty of Education), James de Winter. James has developed an alternative method of teaching primary and secondary school children about sound waves, using recordings of birdsong. He recorded some of the morning’s dawn chorus, live, and then discussed the resulting sonograms over coffee at the offices of Girton Town Charity on the High Street.

Find out more about James’ project Physics and Birdsong here.


Photographs courtesy of Lesley Rumble