"Birding" and "Dawn chorus"
Was wondering about the word "birding" and the phrase "dawn chorus". When were these coined? I think people sometimes complain about "birding" thinking it's a modern variant on "birdwatching". To me "dawn chorus" just sounds like it's been invented for a glossy nature reserve events booklet.
However I've found both (in the correct context) in a book written in 1940. Anybody know of any earlier references?
Shakespeare did write about going "a-birding" but he apparently meant with guns.