Enjoy the dawn chorus with Tony Whitehead:

"In our temperate latitudes, from March to June, the dawn chorus circles the earth. A wave of sound and joy, and praise to the sun.  What you are listening to is a compilation of numerous recordings made over the past ten years here in Devon. It’s not the real dawn chorus, you’ll have to go out and listen to that, but I hope this encourages you to so." 

Listen to the full recording

  • The recording starts on heathland on the edge of Dartmoor a couple of hours before sunrise, in the dark, with the sound of nightjar churring and the simple song of a single redstart
  • At 1 min: on the coast - a recording at first light of cirl bunting and blackbird at the RSPB’s nature reserve at Labrador Bay. 
  • 5 mins: still in the dimpsy light, we move to Whiddon Deer Park near Chagford and the first song thrush of the day.
  • 12 mins: we hear tawny owls joining the chorus, as they often do before sunrise. 
  • 15 mins: we reach sunrise in woodland near Moretonhampstead with wood pigeon, wren, chifchaff, and blackcap joining the throng. 
  • 20 mins: the dawn chorus starts to fade. The day warms up and we hear the first insects accompanied by a noisy jay
  • 22 mins: we move to an apple tree, full of spring blossom, bees, and the descending trill of a willow warbler.
  • We finish back on the open heath at the edge of Dartmoor with cuckoo and, in the background the song of meadow pipits.

Tony Whitehead is a sound recordist and artist based on Dartmoor with a passion for birdsong. He is also an environmental campaigner and works for the RSPB.