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Dawn chorus to be heard all over Europe on the radio

By Linda Stewart

Published 22/04/2016

A great spotted woodpecker
A great spotted woodpecker

The cascading trills of Northern Ireland's songbirds are to be beamed into homes across Europe as part of a ground-breaking live broadcast to mark International Dawn Chorus Day.

The birds of Tollymore Forest Park will be the stars of a live radio link-up between BBC Radio Ulster, RTE and a number of broadcasters across the Continent in a special programme running from midnight to 7am on Sunday, May 1.

BBC Radio Ulster presenter Anne-Marie McAleese will team up with Dr Kendrew Colhoun from the RSPB at Tollymore National Outdoor Centre to broadcast live on air throughout the night, along with counterparts in Radio Russia, NRK Norway and BBC Radio 4.

The programme will feature fascinating conversations about the dawn chorus and live coverage of birds as they awake across Europe.

It might even include the star species in Northern Ireland this year - the great spotted woodpecker of Co Down.

Until 10 years ago no woodpeckers bred in Ireland, but there is now evidence of breeding pairs colonising the east coast.

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