Roving Records: North West Zone 3rd May 2016
Scrub and grassland west of Brockley Wood
We wandered through a cacophony of different warbler songs; Chiffchaff, Common Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Blackcap and Garden Warbler could all be heard here.
Reed beds along the River Mole
Reed Warblers (Acrocephalus scirpaceus) are summer visitors from Sub-Saharan Africa, and they have now begun their chugging tunes along the River Mole...
A young male Kestrel seemed to watch us disapprovingly, until the alarm calls of small woodland birds caused it to move on.
My 2nd worst picture ever taken of a Kestrel (yes, there are worse)
A faded yellow collar on a Grass Snake can indicate an aged individual
Of course, it is not just the reptiles using these mats...
Common Toad (Bufo bufo)
A young vole, possibly Short-tailed Vole (Microtus agrestis)
Glow-worm larva (Lampyris noctiluca)
Donald meets his first ever Glow-worm
As we stood up from replacing a reptile mat, a low, bubbling call made Donald and myself exchange the exact same quizzical look, and a hesitation to be the first to speak...
'Nightingale!' Donald finished.
As if on cue, a wonderful stream of notes, then it blasted into full song. This really is an exciting find, so as soon as got back to the computer I trawled Gatwick's old ecological reports... yes, this is a new species for the site!
I popped back around 11pm last night with Katherine to take this recordingWe suspect this male might be a bit out on a limb here, so fingers crossed that a passing female hears him too. Although they can be heard in the daytime, they are definitely best heard at night, when all the other birds have quietened down.
Nightingale from The RSPB on Vimeo.
Nightingales (Luscinia megarhynchos) are a rapidly declining species in UK, largely due to the loss of their out-grown, scrubby habitats. Fortunately a few nature reserves such as the Knepp Re-wilding project have become hotspots for these birds. They only tend to sing from May until early June, so get your Nightingale fix now and book onto a Knepp Safari !