The Nightingale is the UK's most iconic songbird, with its powerful and astonishing repertoire documented throughout history. Despite severe population declines over the last several decades, Essex remains a key stronghold for these wonderful birds.
Fingringhoe Wick nature reserve has accessible footpaths throughout, making it the best place in the country to hear these birds up close, without disturbing them. Last Sunday the first bird was spotted back after completing its long-haul migration from Africa to the UK and their numbers have been growing daily.
It's the males that produce the fantastic array of trills, whistles, gurgles and crescendos, in the aims of impressing a mate. Once they're successfully paired up, the males will fall silent, so the best time to enjoy this open-air concert is from now until mid-May, with lucky visitors often hearing them sing throughout the day, as well as at dawn and dusk when they're at their most vocal.
The nature reserve is open from 9am-5pm but there are still a few places left on our guided evening Nightingale walks, please book in advance to avoid disappointment. Beginning on Sunday 22 April and continuing every day, 7.30pm-9pm, until Friday 11 May. Call 01206 729678 to book; a £6 donation per person is recommended.