Saturday, 24 April 2010

Little Paxton - Nightingales!

I didn’t see a single Nightingale during 2009 but planned to put that to right’s for 2010! Another minor diversion on my way to give a talk in St Albans saw me swap the M1 for the A14 and an alternative route via Little Paxton…..

This has to be the Nightingale capital of the UK. Several birds were singing as I walked around and tried to escape the hordes and find a peaceful spot…..

The first bird out in the open was sadly high up in the canopy but I would have settled for this after encountering one or two unseen ‘in the depths of the bushes’, noisy lurkers!

Eventually I found a small glade where one bird had a habit of returning…. and waited…… After 20 minutes or so, boy did I score big time. After singing in the depths of the brambles, I finally had a Nightingale singing it’s heart out, on top of the bramble patch and less than 20 metres away!

Another phenomenon I’ve noticed with Nightingales before – it soon started singing on one leg! This can’t be that unusual for me to notice it and I can’t say I’ve seen other birds routinely do this whilst singing!

My favourite of a very similar series and a close up crop.....

At least a dozen Common Terns over the water, a brief view of Cetti’s Warbler and at least three Garden Warblers (one below) singing were more additions for the year. Never mind the Nightingales, Little Paxton is also a real haven for Warblers too. Good numbers of Blackcap, Whitethoat, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff plus a single Lesser Whitethroat all in full song….

A couple of hours well spent.....