Tag Archives: dawn chorus

Thrush and blackbird dawn chorus


On July 12th I wrote of the song thrush beginning its dawn chorus at five to seven each morning. Slowly over the intervening six weeks that time has been pushed back, slowly at first but with gathering pace. After a couple of weeks it jumped to 6.45, then 6.35 and 6.25, seemingly in 10 minute steps. Then more quickly to where it is now at 6.10 am. Last weekend I noticed for the first time that the blackbird has joined in, dominating with its stronger, more resonant song. Blackbirds should have been singing earlier in August but this is the first I’ve heard. Now that the two are singing together it is easy to hear the difference between them.

Out of interest, sunrise on July 12 was at 7.32 am, 37 minutes after the thrush began singing. Now sunrise is at 6.46 am which is 36 minutes after the thrush and blackbird. I can’t fault the thrush on its consistency.


Shakespear Park walk


Thanks to all of you who came to Forest and Bird’s – Discover the Wetlands walk at Shakespear Park yesterday. Though it was bracing in the wind we were unbelievably lucky to have the sun at least. I hope you get the chance to pick a nice day to do the walk again and find yourself a spotless crake. Take your binoculars as there is usually a lot more life about than we saw yesterday.

I noticed this morning that the dawn chorus was early. Over the last few weeks it has moved from 6.55 to 6.45 but this morning the first tuis and thrushes called at 6.33. A short while later a morepork called before going off to bed. I do love that day/night crossover, particularly in the evening when the tui is making its last straggling calls as the morepork begins a night of hunting.

Dawn Chorus


At five-to-seven in the morning the thrush starts to sing. He’ll be doing it from April to Christmas but as we get into spring he’ll get a bit more company. The dawn chorus is really just him at the moment, with just the odd note from a tui or a myna soon after 7. This month, though, the blackbird will join in and  tuis will start to get very vocal and very early as spring comes around. In the meantime 7 is a very civilised time to start and in case you don’t catch it first time the thrush repeats everything which helps to tell their song from the blackbird’s. In The Fieldguide to the Birds of NZ, the song is described “chitty-choo chitty-choo, oo-eee oo-eee….”, each phrase repeated. But never dull.