Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Nightingale Special

Nightingale (c) 2011 David Tasker

Nightingale Nightingale in full song
Closest to showing the rufous tail

Open Wide (c) 2011 David Ware

Among Blossom (c) 2011 David Ware




Orange-Tip on Cuckoo Flower (Ladysmock)

15 keen souls drove for at least an hour south to participate in our annual appointment with the UK's supreme songster. I heard at least 8 soloists singing, and 2 were relatively confiding. One sang in the open for 5 minutes among some hawthorn blossom until it took fright because of a passenger train passing within a few feet of its song post. One particular bird was a true virtuoso, and some class members were left with a slackened lower jaw after they heard its amazing performance! The Nightingales were much harder to track down in the afternoon, but the class members were treated to several superb bursts of sound. Even at this reliable site Nightingales seem to be in decline. 16 males were singing 3 years ago, only 12 last year, and so far this year only 10 have been heard. Are the dreaded Muntjac Deer to be blamed here? As the links has been scientifically proved, surely it's time to rid ourselves of another destructive non-native species, which is wiping out a poetic icon! Other birds heard were Garden Warblers, Blackcaps, Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroats. We also saw three 3-week-old Great Crested Grebe chicks, and at least 6 Common Terns. The Hobbies weren't back yet, but it won't be long! Normal services resume next week!

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