Calling early birds

IPSWICH: They say the early bird catches the worm but at one Ipswich park it is hoped the early bird- watchers will catch the nightingale.

Dedicated bird lovers are being given the chance to take part in a dawn chorus listening to and identifying birds in Holywells Park.

But they will need to set their alarms extra early – as the May 8 event starts at 4.30am during the height of the morning birdsong.

And keen orthinologists are on the edge of their seats to find out if a nightingale has returned to the park for only the second time in ten years.

Wildlife and education ranger at the park Joe Underwood is leading the dawn chorus walk and said he could take up to 30 people through the picturesque park.

Mr Underwood will help people identify different species by their sound and will add any new species to a log of the birds in Holywells.

He said: “Anyone interested in birds can come along and I can teach them about birds and how to identify different birds.

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“The best thing about this time of year is that you get resident birds and some migratory birds all adding to the dawn chorus so the first couple of weeks of May are the best two weeks for birdsong out of the whole year.

“Everything is defending its territory and you have got birds from blue tits and chaffinches to blackcaps and chiffchaffs singing at the same time.”

Mr Underwood added: “Anything new that we do hear will be added on to the species list.” Mr Underwood said he was a self-confessed “anorak” who had been interested in birds since he was three.

Now the 27-year-old from Felixstowe said: “If a bird makes a sound I can tell you what it is.

“Birds indicate the quality of the habitat so if you have reed beds and you have a bittern or a harrier they show the habitat is in really good condition. We had a nightingale in the park for the first time in ten years and that is one of the reasons we are doing the dawn chorus, to see if it is there.”

Anyone wanting to book a place on the dawn chorus walk or find out more information should call 01473 433994.

Have you identified any special birds in your garden or in a nearby park? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or you can send an e-mail to

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