Six members attended this meet on a gorgeous sunny day marred a little by a rather strong wind. The target species was the Nightingale but when we arrived at ‘Nightingale Corner’ it was to find that the bird had just departed. Ten minutes later there was still no sign and with the majority of the party never having seen one before and expectations being high, the trip leader wondered if his best course of action was to sneak off unseen and thus avoid a potential lynching party.
Hoping to find Nightingales further on, we set off round Coot Lake and fortunately were soon distracted by hearing and then getting fleeting glimpses of Lesser Whitethroats. Added to this were good sightings of Blackcaps and Garden Warblers as well as a fabulous surround sound serenade from these warblers.
Having done a full circuit of the lake, half the group decided to take a walk round the northerly half of the reserve while the other half returned to the favourite Nightingale spotting place, determined to see the bird. The walkers eventually returned pleased as punch with their sighting, albeit brief, of a Hobby. However, their triumphalism proved to be short-lived as the others, with ear to ear grins, had both seen and heard a Nightingale.
After lunch the Nightingaless group went back hoping to see the elusive bird and this time were quickly rewarded with a 10 minute serenade from this little brown job as well as the opportunity to see it between the tangle of branches.
After this success, we decided to drop into RSPB Langford Lowfields reserve on our way back. The highlight here was, without doubt, being able to sit on a bench beside the reed bed, in sunshine, watching up to four Hobbies hawking for dragonflies. And finally, the icing on the birding cake was our sighting of a Whimbrel on one of the islands.
A great day on two excellent reserves with 55 species of bird identified.