Sunday, 22 April 2012
Nightingale survey begins
Sunday 22nd April Cold (4 C), light breeze, clear skies. I decided to make the most of the good conditions this morning to survey one of my tetrads for the Nightingale survey. Although it was forecast to be a bit breezy and quite cold, the rest of the week looks a lot worse, so I was up at 3.30am all set to be at Clowes Wood at first light. Leaving the house there wasn't a breath of wind, and from the garden I could distantly hear a Nightingale singing. As I arrived at the car park at Clowes, just after 4 o'clock, I realised I had mis-judged what time first light was in late April! It was still pitch-black. However, as soon as I got out the car I could hear 2 Nightingales singing, so I set off in the dark. By the time I had covered the tetrad and returned to the car at 8am, I had recorded 7 singing Nightingales. I also heard and saw several Tawny Owls, and a couple of Woodcocks flew over just before 5am. After breakfast I ventured out again, taking a short walk at Shuart. Birds seen and heard were pretty much the same as recently, but the highlight today was my first Orange-tip Butterfly, a lovely male restlessly flapping along the edge of the path, not pausing to be captured by the camera.