Birds will be singing in St. Anne’s Park

Birds will be singing in St. Anne’s Park for International Dawn Chorus 2018
Saturday 5th May from 0000 - 0700 Sunday May 6th on RTÉ Radio 1
RTÉ Radio One’s live International Dawn Chorus is one of the most ambitious and innovative radio projects to have hit the airwaves in recent years.  For over two decades now, Derek Mooney and his team of experts have been bringing the uplifting and fascinating sounds of early-morning birdsong to listeners.  Initially the programme was confined to Ireland, but in 2016 this landmark simulcast brought together two dynamic international networks, joining forces for the first time and highlighting the value of continent-wide collaboration: the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and BirdLife International, the global partnership of bird conservation organisations.
Winner of both of the National PPI Radio Award for Innovation and the coveted International Rose d’Or award, the programme has become one of the broadcast highlights of the year, not just in Ireland, but right across Europe.  Featuring live birdsong and expert commentary spanning the entire continent, it offers an unmatched live celebration of Europe’s shared natural heritage.
What better way, therefore, to kick off the holiday weekend than with a special live seven-hour radio programme celebrating the phenomenon of the dawn chorus?  From midnight on Saturday 5th May until 7:00am on Sunday 6th May, together with our EBU partners across the continent and with the support of conservation partner BirdWatch Ireland and its fellow BirdLife International organisations around Europe, we will track the great wave of birdsong as it shifts from east to west with the rising of the sun.  It is literally the sound of the Earth spinning on its axis.  This will be the 23rd live celebration of early-morning birdsong from RTÉ’s Mooney Goes Wild team, and the third to go fully international as this year we are joined by ABC in Australia and All India Radio.
Thanks to the support of Dublin City Council’s Parks division, ‘Home base’ for this International dawn chorus will be St. Anne’s Park, Raheny, in Dublin, where the main team of presenters; Derek Mooney, Aonghus McAnally, Dr. Richard Collins, Éanna Ní Lámhna, Eric Dempsey and BirdWatch Ireland’s Niall Hatch will introduce the dawn chorus and, while the birdsong builds in real time, explain to listeners what our feathered friends are getting up to across Europe as the sun rises.
This year’s programme has been extended by one hour and promises to be even bigger and better than ever before.  It will feature live contributions from more than 22 different locations across Europe, from the lush primeval forests of eastern Poland, the mountain slopes of Balkans and the reed-fringed lakes of the Austrian lowlands to the polders of The Netherlands, the Caledonian pine forests of the Scottish Highlands and even the icy tundra of the high Norwegian Arctic.  All are very different, but all have one very important thing in common: they are teeming with abundant bird life, guaranteeing the most spectacular dawn chorus yet broadcast.
Ireland’s bird life will truly shine too, with a special focus on the birds of the Dublin Bay Biosphere.  One of the stand-out highlights of last year’s programme was the otherworldly sounds made by the Grey Herons and Little Egrets nesting high in the treetops in St. Anne’s Park and we will feature them again this year, along with Corncrakes in Donegal and Pochard and other waterfowl on Lough Ennel in County Westmeath.
A new treat  has been added for listeners this year. In true EBU fashion, taking the Eurovision Song Contest as our cue, we will feature a surprise new entrant in the dawn chorus this year… Australia!  Our partners from ABC will bring us the exotic sounds of Laughing Kookaburras, Superb Lyrebirds, Pied Currawongs in a live broadcast from Down Under on Saturday 5th May from 2100-2200 on RTÉ Radio 1 and will ensure that this year’s International Dawn Chorus broadcast will be our most ambitious and unforgettable yet.