Having heard no nightingales on the heath this year I was getting quite worried and asked John Thorogood to do his best to find us one on the walk. Seventeen of us set off at the later time of 4.30 (a half hour lie in compared with previous years!), and John kept quiet about the two nightingales he'd heard from the car park. We made a beeline for the Keyes Triangle (across the road) and had got quite close to the Braxted Road before we heard a faint snatch of song, competing quietly with all the songthrushes that had woken up. I guess that our nightingale was a young inexperienced one, and we thought we heard another one joining in. It was a big relief, and John created his usual magic for us.
The sightings list was as follows (in order of hearing) -
Red legged partridge
Greater spotted woodpecker
A total of 22, but one of our walkers went back to his car and spotted two more species immediately.
All except two of us then sat down to a well earned breakfast at 6.45am.
Thanks go to John for all his knowledge and gentle explanation, and Sue and Di for their help with the breakfast.