I'm still buzzing from my Red-flanked Bluetail find last Sunday but with spring finally here there was no time for laurel resting! With a report of a Nightingale singing at nearby Whitlingham broad, I contacted James Emerson who very kindly gave me precise directions to locate the bird.
I tried hard to get out of work early but was still there at 6pm, nonetheless I made it home by 6.30pm, scoffed half a pizza and was parking up at Whitlingham before 7pm.
I took the path along the north side of the great broad. A different place from my last visit in mid- January for Slavonian Grebe. Back then the paths were covered in frozen snow, the east wind was cruel and parts of the broad frozen. But this evening as I walked, the air was mild, people were jogging and the summer migrants were out in force. Chiffchaffs and Willows Warblers sang while Swallows hunted over the water.
I reached the site and noted three female Blackcaps and one male Blackcap in the pussy willows. I wondered if I was in the right place when after five minutes I got a brief snatch of Nightingale song. From then on it sang on and off until shortly before I left. But getting views of it was another thing. It stayed very well concealed (as they do) and the light had faded quite a bit before I finally caught a glimpse of it sitting on a low bramble chattering away to itself. The following shot is taken through stems of foliage, highly cropped and high ISO - hence the crappiness. But it is the first Nightingale I've seen in either Britain or Ireland so it'll do for starters!
|Nightingale, Whitlingham CP, Norfolk - 16th April 2013|
My thanks again to James Emerson, please check his excellent blog on birding around Whitlingham CP, Beer and birds blog