Join us to savour the Nightingale concert

Tuesday 25th April 2017

Nightingale

The Nightingale’s astonishing song is back serenading visitors to our Fingringhoe Wick nature reserve, which is one of the best sites in the country to see and hear this famous bird.

Visitors can join us for guided walks every evening from now until Saturday 13 May (7.30pm-9.00pm, some dates are already fully booked), or simply come along to enjoy the reserve during normal opening hours of 9.00am-5.00pm. While Nightingales are at their most vocal at dusk, night and dawn, such is the number of singing males at Fingringhoe Wick – there will be up to 40 by early May - that birds can be heard belting out their amazing vocal repertoire at any time of day. The song is a melodious mix of whistles, trills, drums and gurgles, toing and froing from high notes to low, delivered in an energetic burst, to a stunning, passionate crescendo.

In addition, this year Fingringhoe Wick has specially been chosen as a host site for folk music star Sam Lee’s acclaimed ‘Singing With Nightingales’ events. Three of these fantastic feasts of food, music, birdsong and birdwatching remain, on Friday 5 May, Saturday 6 May and Saturday 13 May. For more details of these intimate, campfire events with stars of the UK’s folk, classical and jazz music scenes – and, of course, the nightingales - see: www.singingwithnightingales.com.

□ Nightingales are migrant birds, making epic journeys from Africa and back each year. Their numbers have suffered a serious decline and in 2015 were added to the Red List for Birds, meaning they are of highest conservation concern. Essex remains a crucial stronghold, with Fingringhoe Wick the key site. Other Essex Wildlife Trust nature reserves where you can hear Nightingales include Wrabness, on the Stour Estuary, and Abberton Reservoir, south of Colchester.

The nightingale’s song has been well-documented throughout history, where they were given the Old English title of ‘night songstress’, as it was believed lonely females would cry out during the night. Like most birds, it is actually the males responsible for producing the famous song, usually while skulking in the impenetrable thicket they call home – but sometimes showing well in the open. Once paired, they fall silent with only unpaired males continuing to sing during the night, ever hopeful to attract a mate.