13 May 2010

And a nightingale sang...

Another weekend away from home, so again no Warwickshire birding (missing in the process a pair of Wood Sandpiper at Brandon :-( good job I've long since given up worrying about the size of my patch and county lists).

Instead I was back in Essex, and so took a couple of quick trips to Fingringoe, the Essex Wildlife Trust reserve on the shores of the Colne Estuary, not far from Colchester.

The reserve is famous for its nightingales - perhaps 30 or 40 singing birds each spring. This weekend they were in full voice, and I finally managed to lock on to one for good views as well - sadly the only photograph I managed was massively out of focus through the foliage.

There were, however, good photo opps for two birds I don't often get that close to - first a red-legged partridge, of which there were dozens running around the site, and second a pair of linnets, perched on gorse near the salt marshes.

Other decent birds across the two days including a pair of marsh harriers, a cettis, a lone reed warbler, and among the shoreline waders a pair each of summer plumaged dunlin and grey plover, neither birds I see much of in Warwickshire at this time of year.

Bird of the day: Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos), dull brown and skulky little birds, about the size of a robin: a bird who's ordinariness is forgiven and forgotten the moment it starts to sing an astonishing array of songs and noises.

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