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Oswiu
Sunday, December 17th, 2006, 03:58 AM
I was just looking at Frans Jozef's Blue Tit thread, and thought I'd share this bit of ornithological curiosity with you all!
http://www.draycotebirding.co.uk/nightingale.JPG
Nachtigall in German, Solovei in Russian, Luscinia in Latin, Rossignol/Usignolo/Ruiseņor to the Romance folks.
Renowned for its song, but have you ever heard one?

I live in a suburb of Manchester, where greenery is quite widespread in terms of gardens and waste land, but there isn't much undisturbed wild habitat. Nevertheless, I was out at about nine o'clock the other night and heard a very loud and striking bit of birdsong coming from the top of a tree hanging over the pavement by some shops. It was a dark night, but the tree was bare of leaves and I could just about see a small brown bird in the uppermost branches, singing very loudly.

I'm not sure it was a nightingale, but I'm certain it wasn't a blackbird [whose song I'm very familiar with] or a wren or robin or tit or sparrow or any other common bird round here. The song was so impressive that I had to stand and listen a while - so what else could it have been? :)

I then walked a few blocks away, but could still hear it. The song was unrepeating, full of variation, and with incredibly 'pure' notes.

Here's an online recording, but it's not as nice as what I heard;
http://freesound.iua.upf.edu/samplesViewSingle.php?id=14854

According to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds;
http://www.rspb.org.uk/birds/guide/n/nightingale/index.asp
we shouldn't have them so far north, never mind in December!
http://www.rspb.org.uk/Images/nightingale_tcm3-19405.gif

Could I have been mistaken? There have been lots of news reports on the freakish mildness of this year's nonwinter.

Carl
Sunday, December 17th, 2006, 11:11 AM
....more likely a Song Thrush perhaps? Top of tree, very loud in the twilight, very strong voice with a large and complex song range. I have such a creature here in the south - it may even think it springlike at times?

Oswiu
Sunday, December 17th, 2006, 12:37 PM
....more likely a Song Thrush perhaps? Top of tree, very loud in the twilight, very strong voice with a large and complex song range. I have such a creature here in the south - it may even think it springlike at times?
Maybe you're right, yes.
I know song thrushes by sight very well, but I'm not so sure about their song. I'll look for a recording. :thumbup

Carl
Sunday, December 17th, 2006, 01:32 PM
re Thrush: They are , if it is he ( or she??), very strong singers! they dominate the evenings in summer and my local one dominates even the early morning - like today - it was very sunny !! ( there is a large beech tree here and it sits right at the top and is so loud! ) And who knows, it could be a Mistle Thrush which is slightly bigger and can go for gardens too -- but its not such a great singer I think. Nightingales , for what its worth, are summery and southern - when they can be found.

Oswiu
Monday, December 18th, 2006, 12:24 AM
My Aunt and Uncle who live nearby say it was just a Robin! They reckon song thrushes are pretty rare around here.

I'll have to paste super-glue on the twigs of the local trees to solve this one... :evil

Carl
Monday, December 18th, 2006, 12:30 PM
OK - if thats the case :) but little robins are always around .... friendly things agarden. They do have quite a good singing voice when they are not busy worming!. See if can spot it next time - that should clinch it.