It was the time today for what has grown into my annual trip over to Whisby Nature Reserve near Lincoln to try to see and hopefully photograph Nightingale there. My last 2 visits have drawn a blank in the sense of images and good views of the lovely bird but odd sightings and listening to their wonderful loud and melodic tune being belted out from deep in the vegetation being my only previous experience with this bird.
I asked a couple of Whisby experts via Twitter for tips on best places and times to increase the chances of seeing the birds; that being local young birder Ben Ward who is known for covering this nature reserve as one of his ‘local patches’ and also Grahame Hopwood, Whisby NR warden. Well in short their information paid off and within 5 minutes of me arriving at the first location near Coot Lake on the site I had photos of not only a Nightingale but also a Garden Warbler in my 7D – nice thanks gentlemen!
Other birders were met and chatted too about these lovely birds and all looking, listening and trying to get pics of the birds. Walking down the the track to try to locate other birds that may be showing well leave to sightings and sounds of Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Whitethroat, more Garden Warblers and close to the train track a Sedge Warbler too!
I got to the far end of the track where i was told a Nightingale was located and this location was better for photography in the sense of no tall trees and more light in the area, the bird could already be heard singing, a couple of birders / walkers were already in place looking for the birds and 6 eyes made the task easier to see the Nightingale than 2 – you were correct Ben!
After a little time standing and waiting the bird came into view and close too, I managed the photo below. One happy Lincssnapper here I can tell you :).
The bird flitted around the bush and then went into a shadier section of the shrubbery and then started belting out that tune!
I spent about 30 minutes on my own then awaiting another close up show but it never came so I went back and after a little time with other birders and a brief chat with Grahame Hopwood who I bumped into while talking to a nice and knowledgeable man who is a regular visitor to Whisby I had to leave.
Lots of Long Tailed Tit were around the park foraging and some with nesting materials in their beaks too.
I called in for a sit down mainly to the feeding station areas near the car park so I could delete my dodgy images and saw this Coal Tit in the trees in this area.
I also witnessed a fight under the feeding station between the Magpie below and a rat! – the rat won.
All in all, a great couple of hours, will have to call back more often.