You either love early mornings or you hate 'em. It's a bit of both for me, I think. But Sunday was International Dawn Chorus Day - a great reason to get up early.Trust me, the hardest part is always when the alarm goes off and you think 'Mmmm, I think I'll just close my eyes for five minutes...' Don't do it! Once you get past that, grab a coffee and something to eat and you'll be OK.By 4.50 am, I was greeting my fellow early-risers in the car park at The Lodge, ready to lead a walk to explore the woods and heathland and - hopefully - hear some birdsong.We strolled down the bridleway, stopping to absorb songs and sounds from woodland birds including green woodpecker (Professor Yaffle laughing at us), blackcap, chiffchaff (sings its name, helpfully), wren, chaffinch, goldcrest and great spotted woodpecker (drumming on a dead branch).Pausing at the gate, we heard and watched a whitethroat scratch its way through a not very tuneful song, though the skylark singing from the fields beyond was much easier on the ear. Unfortunately there was neither sight nor sound of the usual nightingale though we did hear a cuckoo - a bird that's less common than it used to be.Tummies were rumbling on the home straight, but there was time to stop and listen to some energetic, stream-of-consciousness babbling emanating from an oak tree. Garden warblers aren't the most visually exciting birds, but their song is one of my favourites. It even sat out on a branch for us to see it, in all its brown and grey glory.At 7 am I was sitting down to a cooked breakfast, having enjoyed two hours of wonderful birdsong on a beautiful nature reserve. It struck me then that I really should get up early more often. It's great: the dawn light is beautiful, there aren't so many people around and the birdsong's louder than the traffic noise.