From mid April until about the end of May the beautiful song of the Nightingale can be heard in the wood. We are fortunate here in Bourne to be able to hear this little bird in full song as it is reaching its northernmost limits in Britain here in Lincolnshire.
The birds prefer to nest in thick scrub and it is from here that the song can be heard although the bird itself is seldom seen. It is the male that sings as he tries to establish a territory, attract a mate and then defend that territory from other males. Unfortunately for us once that is done he stops singing and all that is heard, for those who know, is a soft growl like sound if someone or something gets too close.
Up until quite recently the Nightingales were confined to the edges of the wood where there was suitable habitat for them. In recent years with the help of the “Friends of Bourne Wood” and other volunteers we have re-established coppice management in several small areas in the hope that we can create better habitat for the birds in other parts of the wood. Sure enough as these areas have grown up the birds have moved in and we now have a quite healthy population in the wood.
The best areas to listen for the song are close to the car park along the appropriately named Nightingale Trail. The bird does sing all day but mornings and evenings are especially good as most other birds are quiet by then.
Photo courtesy of the RSPB.