We have all been involved with the BTO National Nightingale survey, and the early hours found all three of us in the River Lee Country Park to see how many were singing in what is, without doubt, by far the best local area for the species (Mike’s tetrads - but we all thought a night time visit would be interesting).
Nightingales were already singing when we arrived on site shortly before midnight, and during the next couple of hours we heard at least 8 different individuals although a couple of others that had been heard on preliminary day-time surveys remained silent, assuming they hadn’t moved on.
A number of other bird species were also singing, including Cetti’s, Sedge, and Reed Warblers, as well as a Robin, and a calling Tawny Owl and quite a few other species were heard calling at various points (most notable perhaps was the level of noise from the nesting Grey Herons and Cormorants). Unsurprisingly few birds were actually seen although a few waterbirds were visible on the gravel pits.
We had a bat detector with us, which enabled us to pick up the echo-location calls of Common and Soprano Pipistrelles, Noctule Bats, and a single Daubenton’s Bat. Some of these were also seen hawking insects overhead, as well as Red Fox, Reeve’s Muntjacs and quite a few Rabbits.
So not a typical time for a visit to the country park - but interesting none the less!