May’s magical wildlife

by | 28 April 2024 | Retford, Wildlife

With spring well and truly sprung, May is a magical month to spend time appreciating the delights of Mother Nature. With meadows and verges full of splendid wild flowers, migratory birds arriving from afar and butterflies, moths and dragonflies on the wing – there is so much to take in, but the star of the show is arguably the Dawn Chorus.

With the bird breeding season progressing towards its peak, the sheer range and number of birds using their song to either mark out territory or make their pitch for a mate combines to create one of the true wonders of nature.

Whilst bird song can be heard through much of the day at this time of year, early mornings offer the best opportunity to hear the widest range of species, singing their hearts out. For those willing to make the commitment to setting their alarms early enough, the experience of listening to birds just after dawn really delivers. Whilst the Dawn Chorus can be enjoyed in the comfort of a suburban garden, a trip to a local woodland, nature reserve or park with a mix of habitats, will pay you back in spades.

Bird song is said to travel up to 20 times further when the air is still and there is little background noise, and to make the most of it you may need to be in position by 5.00am. By getting in position early, preferably sat with a warm drink in hand, you’ll catch the best of the early performers including robins, thrushes and blackbirds – three songsters you really don’t want to miss. The experience builds as other talented songsters including warbles such as Chiffchaffs, Willow Warbler and Blackcap join in.

By the time 6.30am has arrived, the chorus will have peaked, and you can head off for an early breakfast or even back to bed – knowing you’ve savoured one of the UK’s best wild encounters.

Experience the Dawn Chorus at Idle Valley Nature Reserve

On Saturday 11th May Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust will be hosting a Dawn Chorus Walk at the spectacular Idle Valley Nature Reserve. For further details visit

The UK’s biggest nature challenge is back – and we want to celebrate the 10th anniversary of 30 Days Wild with you!
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“Embrace the outdoors with The Wildlife Trust’ 30 Days Wild challenge! Imagine a month dedicated to exploring the wonders of nature, from the majestic red kites soaring above to the humble bees buzzing in our gardens.” Iolo Williams – Vice President of The Wildlife Trusts and Wildlife TV Presenter

Image: Blackcap, John Smith