A bird in the hand – two in the bush

For the third year running a male nightingale has set up territory overlooking Roswell Pits – in fact this year there are two. They arrived from their African wintering grounds in mid-April and for much of the day and night can be heard singing alongside Kiln Lane – below the Environment Agency car park and just above where the vegetation opens out onto the two pits. Both birds have been mist-netted and ringed by Dr Stuart Sharp, who has special permission to catch nightingales. One of them is a first-year bird, which suggests that they may have bred successfully here last year (most first-year males return to breed in the area where they were born). With a bit of luck, now that the birds are ringed we can find out whether it’s the same individuals that are arriving each spring. Listen to a nightingale call by clicking here (recorded at Roswell pits just before midnight on St Georges’ day, April 23rd).