Sunday, 22 April 2012

A Nightingale Sang in Fishers Green

The traditional site for Nightingales singing is Berkeley Square, although I doubt whether there are any there nowadays. Our nearest hotspots are Little Paxton and Fringringhoe Wick, which each have more than 20 pairs each year, but are both more than an hour away, . So therefore, in view of the forecast heavy showers, I thought I would try for one of the more local spots where Nightingales have been reported each year for some time now - the Fisher's Green Electricity Sub-station.

From the Bittern Watchpint Hide I followed the course of the old River Lea northwards and came acoss a Great Crested Grebe. Great Cresties are not that uncommon on the Lea and, because it is a relatively narrow river, they can never be that distant and afford great opportunites, especially when they are in such good condition as this one.

I then approached the target site and, on cue, a Nightingale was calling. I say calling because it was a half-hearted mumble of the usual loud song, but unmistakeable nevertheless. So the task now was to not only locate it in the dense thicket but also to get into position to get a photo avoiding all the branches and leaves. As is normal on these occasions it is not possible to stand motionless for too long before the other birds come to you and I was soon visited by the compulsory Robin and a very vocal Chiffchaff.

But then the combination of stealth and patience was rewarded. The Nightingale showed itself and although it didn't seem at all bothered by my presence, approaching to within 10 metres at times, it was a long time before I managed to get an uninterrupted view and a few shots.

Up until this time, I had been unable to get a shot of the famous red tail but then, as if by request, the bird turned round and spread it's tail as if posing.

Mission accomplished.

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