I was camped in a remote glen in the west of Scotland on Friday and heard a very loud distinctive bird calling twice in the tree above my tent around 11pm. Never heard this call before and listening to bird calls online once home i think it was a nightingale. I initially discounted it due to distribution but my friend who was with me heard it too and independently researched the call and suggested nightingale. Any other reports of this bird North of the border?
Highly unlikely I would have thought. If you look at the BTO Breeding Distribution map there's only a few probables that reach as far as northern England. In any event Nightingales usually sing from dense scrub not from the tops of trees.
If you didn't get a recording which I assume you didn't it's quite difficult to carry a song in your head for identification later. I would have thought it more likely to have been something like a Song Thrush. They are widespread throughout the UK and love to sing perched at the top of a tree late into the evening and into the night. Some of their phrases do sound a bit similar to a Nightingale.
Click here to play this audio clip
Patrik Åberg, XC26981. Accessible at www.xeno-canto.org/26981.
Of course without a recording we shall never know
My Flickr Photostream
We spend 90% of net income on conservation, public education and advocacy
The RSPB is a member of BirdLife International. Find out more about the partnership
© The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654