A few days ago a friendly neighbour reminded me that a Nightingale had once again returned to a area of damp scrubland on the edge of a paddock just about half a mile from home. I can recall him mentioning this to me in a previous year but (perhaps stupidly) I discounted it thinking that the location was somewhat unlikely. Yesterday morning I headed south to the appointed spot and listened....there was Song Thrush, Blackbird, Blackcap, and Wren singing, then from some 80 yards away the unmistakable 'chuir..chuir..chuir' followed by the liquid warble of yes, a Nightingale. So a new patch tick. My intended onward journey was thwarted by a sign that said "Pathway Closed due to ditch maintenance" and large machinery blocking the way ahead so I had to backtrack and take another route into Horton Country Park.
As you can see the hedgerows are now in full leaf enabling the residents to hide from view and they did just that although several Whitethroats, Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps made brief appearances but not for any photocall. However other beauties awaited me inside the woodlands.....carpets of scented Bluebells.
Also beneath my feet or at eye level were many other natural wonders to give the camera something to do in the absence of any avian opportunities.
The image below shows the seat overlooking a small 'dipping' pond were I regularly take the weight of my feet before heading for home. During a chance search of a small area of blue sky I located around 30 Swifts hawking insects and then a few moments later the much larger 'boomerang' shape of my first Hobby for this year who was diving and chasing a Sparrowhawk as it continued it's journey following the Swifts in a north-
easterly direction. I searched the paddocks and fences but no other obvious migrants moving through.
Today (Thursday) we are transporting the folding camper to be serviced in North Kent so I'm hoping we may may get a little time to find somewhere for a stroll. Fingers crossed that all goes well and that I don't need to bend the 'plastic' too heavily. FAB.