This evening as the title says was the first walk of the year to listen to the wonderful song of this amazing bird. Thirty of us met in the car-park at Bromhey Farm a little before 7 o'clock I gave a small talk about nightingales and their plight generally and specifically Lodge Hill in Chattenden, Kent. This site, a disused army camp has the highest concentration of breeding pairs in the country.
A recent survey put the number of singing territorial males as 84, the equivalent of 1.5% of the UK's population of this iconic bird.
Over the next couple of hours, we were treated to fantastic displays of the huge range of notes and pitches. All in all, we found four songsters along the track to the woodland. A substantial number of the group had never heard a Nightingale before and more than a couple found it hard to believe all that singing came from a single bird.
On the way down we looked back at the hill and enjoyed the nearly full moon rising up through the darkening tree line and with the backdrop of the Nightingales it was pretty magical.
In the distance, we could hear the call of a Tawny Owl, back up on Sweeney Viewpoint Iwemet a lone birder looking out on the marshes, he said he'd seen a Barn and Little Owl a short while before.
My thanks to Rob and Marie Tilley and Warren Mann of RSPB Medway Local Group for their assistance.
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