Sunday, 6 May 2012

Back to wildlife

A friend recommended a walk at Little Paxton in Cambridgeshire, in particular as a site where you can hear nightingales.  So as we were both awake early we headed out there to check it out.
Little Paxton, South Heronry lake
Almost as soon as we hit the path around the lake we realised what a special habitat it was.  Managed by a local group, there was a variety of vegetation from pasture and crops to scrub, trees and lakes.  The dawn chorus was in full swing.  We hadn't gone 400 yards before we found the first nightingale.  Well when I say found ... I mean heard.  It was in hawthorn seemingly right above our heads but we couldn't see it.  The sound was amazing though.
cooperative male chaffinch
We heard them several times and also a very near cuckoo - again well concealed in trees.  The recent floods made the riverside walk impassable, so we wandered back spending time in the hides where I saw a kingfisher and common tern - none in a position to be photographed.  Across the lake a colony of cormorants were raising some very advanced young, who were chuntering noisily as the parents began to come back with breakfast.

Along the way I remembered I had my movie camera for once, so I filmed a very photogenic bush (not) in an effort to capture the nightingale's song.  As a final treat, a male blackcap was hunting for food in a tree by the entrance, stopping every now and then to treat us to a tuneful song, giving me a brief opportunity to film him. Both recordings are in the attached video ...the bushes have been "digitally enhanced!

1 comment:

  1. Paxton Pits is definitely the best place to go to if you want to see and hear Nightingales Marilyn. I visited just over a week ago, twice!, one day in the pouring rain and then a couple of days later in the sunshine! On the sunny day the birds were showing well and I managed to get some reasonable pictures and some video! A super experience!!...[;o)

    btw. that's an excellent series of blogs from your trip to Italy, an informative read and great pictures.