Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Wednesday 17th. April 2013

I have been bursting to get out and see/hear the Nightingales since they arrived , and posted by several fellow Bloggers . Ideally , I would have liked to have got out early , but I had to wait in for a delivery , and as it turned out , it was similar weather to yesterday morning , wet and windy , but better was promised for the afternoon . The delivery arrived just before lunchtime and so did a brightness in the weather . Taking a chance , I headed for New Hythe , and headed for the scrubby area near the industrial area . I parked up and walked towards the site , only to encounter a situation before I even got to the barrier , but more of that next post . Halfway along the track the magical sound of a singing male Nightingale exploded from an area of Hawthorn and Elder , and search as I could , I couldn't find the bird , not unusual with the species . A second singing male just before the ditch also went unfound . I retraced my steps slowly , but still didn't see either bird . Reaching the barrier , I took the track to a small car park , where beyond , I could hear at least another male singing . The singing stopped as I approached , so I did the same , to play a waiting game . Trouble was , the Nightingales played the game better , and moved back onto the track that I had been walking . Next to where I had been waiting was a Goat Willow , covered in catkins , and many birds came and fed , either on the pollen or insects attracted to the pollen , but not the Nightingales . One of
the visitors to the tree was this female Blackcap . Whilst she was delicately feeding on the catkins , a
male was in full song , but for the time being , she seemed more interested in eating than anything else . As can be seen , by now the sun had broken through and lifted the temperature , which seemed to cause the male Nightingales to stop singing . I spent quite some time walking between the barrier and the diver's bridge , getting only a couple of short burst of song for my efforts . On the edge of the
scrub area , I did find Ground Ivy - Glechoma hederacea , a member of the Labiate family , in flower , along with single Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock and three Commas , two of them spiralling skyward in a courting dance . At least one Willow Warbler was heard deep in the scrub and one of the visits at the diver's bridge , one of several Common Whitethroats was singing , whilst
being tossed backwards and forwards by the still strong wind . I had been keeping an eye out for Water Voles along the ditch as well , and was standing on the diver's bridge wondering how Phil / Sharp by Nature , manages to find them seemingly at will . Does he sing , or whistle to attract them , or even a tap dance on the wooden bridge might do the trick ?  Whilst I pondered , a lady birder arrived at the bridge and we passed on what we had seen , which was pretty similar . She then asked if I knew where the Water Voles could be seen , and as I turned and pointed down the ditch towards
the industrial area , up popped a Water Vole not 3 mtrs. from where we were standing , and started eating . As Phil said on his post , it did seem less at ease than other times , and soon swam under the
bridge to the other side , before disappearing into the bankside vegetation . The lady was very impressed and asked if |I was one of the local bloggers . I said that I was a visitor . I did think of saying that I was Phil/Sharp by Nature , but heaven knows what can of worms that might have opened up ! The lady left happy with her sighting , and with a veil of cloud masking the sun , I headed back towards the car . That cloud seemed to wake up the males again , and I soon got my first
sighting , but I only managed two shots , before the bird dropped into scrub , to give a full rendition of all it's notes . In all , I heard a minimum of 6 birds and had sightings of 3 , including this one that
was singing his heart out at the time . Back home , I think we're going to have to change the name of
the Blue Tit box on the side of the garage , just outside the kitchen window .
And finally , I would just say that the previously mentioned situation encountered on the start of the visit , should probably have a 'S' classification .


Warren Baker said...

Would love just to hear Nightingales here again, unfortunately they are extinct now as breeding species, but I always live in hope :-)

alan woodcock said...

Hi,pleased you got to see the Nightingales.I have still to see Whitethroat.

ShySongbird said...

Great pics and a really interesting read. Well done with the Nightingales Greenie, a lovely sighting. I told Mr Sharp on his last post that he is a Nightingale magnet, he doesn't even have to go looking...they come to him, at least they did at the old house!

That Water Vole popped up right on cue :-) I never seem to see Whitethroats as often as other folk, perhaps this year will be different.

Phil said...

You're a smooth operator Greenie. Charming the local ladies like that. 'Come up and see my Water Vole'. Makes a change from etchings I suppose!
Glad you got the Nightingale in the end. Can't wait for the next episode.

Ken. said...

Well worth the trp to see the Nightingales. They may not be much to look at but their song is a wonderful melodic sound I never tire of listening to it.
many other good finds aspecially the Water Vole.
Nice variety of Photo's