Trip reports

Nightingale Walk - Berry Court Wood - Lodge Hill (Public event)

Nightingale Walk - Berry Court Wood - Lodge Hill (Public event)
Nightingale [Mike Langman]

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Yesterday evening was the 2nd Nightingale Walk run by the Medway Local Group and the first and only one of the series advertised nationally by the RSPB's Adrian Thomas Project Manager currently leading the Save Lodge Hill campaign. Thanks to the local landowner Michael Ryan allowing us to use his car park we were able to accommodate a much larger group than would have otherwise been possible.

There were 30 people altogether including Michael and Adrian. After a briefing and an explanation as to why this particular area and its nationally important population of nightingales is so special, I gave out the latest information leaflets, campaign badges and car stickers. This was filmed by Wildlife Cameraman Mat Larkin, for the RSPB to use in future publicity.

The weather was distinctly cool and there was a hint of rain in the air as we set off to find the nightingales of Lodge Hill using the public access routes around the enclosed ex-army camp.

After about half an hour of slow-paced listening walk we managed to hear one limbering up in an impenetrable bramble thicket and a few lucky ones caught a glimpse of another as it flew across the road.

It was lovely to have the ever-enthusiastic Adrian there as well to give a little more detail on the habits of this iconic bird, but the best was yet to come.

On the way back and almost in sight of the security hut, a male started to sing full throttle, regaling us with a cacophony of unforgettable song - the full range of its incredible voice. We all stood there as darkness enveloped us making it even more magical, the fading light focusing our senses on one of nature's wonders, the famed much written about song of the nightingale!

The next evening walk is on Thursday the 3rd of May at 7pm at RSPB Northward Hill Reserve, Bromhey Farm, High Halstow, ME3 8DS. No booking required.

David Saunders