Essex Wildlife Trust announce return of nightingales at nature reserve


Essex Wildlife Trust reports the return of one of the UK’s most iconic songbirds, the nightingale.

Despite severe population declines of 90% in the last 50 years, Fingringhoe Wick Nature Discovery Park in Colchester is a stronghold for the species, supporting 1% of the UK’s entire population.

Males produce a fantastic array of trills, whistles, gurgles and crescendos, with the aim of impressing a mate. These impressive songbirds have an extensive vocal range of over 1,000 sounds. In comparison, other familiar songbirds such as skylarks have 340.

Once they’re successfully paired up, the males will fall silent, so the best time to enjoy this open-air concert is from now until mid-May, with lucky visitors often hearing them sing throughout the day, as well as at dawn and dusk when they’re at their most vocal.

Fingringhoe Wick Nature Discovery Park has accessible footpaths throughout, making it the best place in the country to hear these birds up close, without disturbing them.

Typically, the nature reserve is open from 9am – 5pm, but during the nightingale breeding season Essex Wildlife Trust offers a series of ranger-led guided walks and self-guided late-night dates from 25 April. These are bookable on the Trust’s website: or by calling 01206 729678.

Lauren Cosson, Communications Manager for Essex Wildlife Trust, says:
“Each year we count ourselves extremely lucky to have nightingales return to Fingringhoe Wick Nature Discovery Park. These songbirds need to be heard in person, with their stunning vocal repertoire of over 1,000 sounds. Whether you live locally or are visiting from afar, coming to hear the nightingales is a must for any wildlife lover. With nightingale populations declining at an alarming rate, it’s even more special to have them here in Essex.”

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