I’m lucky – although, actually, luck didn’t have that much to do with it; I live in the countryside. This means that I can drive for 20 minutes, as I did on Saturday evening, and stand in an ancient woodland at dusk and listen to Nightingales singing.
I do this every year – and it is more important to my quality of life than the level of the Stock Market.
Have you ever stood in a wood listening to Nightingales? Have you ever heard a Nightingale sing? They are wonderful – here is a sample of Nightingale song.
Isn’t that simply amazing? And that little bird, sometimes glimpsed in the dusk but usually well-hidden, has been to Africa and back since last I listened to it sing in the Wildlife Trust nature reserve at Glapthorn Cow Pasture.
There are plenty of places in Europe where Nightingales are so common that they are a little bit irritating, but in an English wood, in an English spring, in English drizzle even, the song of the Nightingale is one of the finest free shows available.
But you aren’t all as lucky as I am. If you live too far west or too far north then you won’t have any nearby Nightingales – you should probably pay a lower rate of income tax to compensate you for your loss, I think. In days gone by, the BBC used to broadcast a live Nightingale song every year on 18 May and a friend of mine Chris Rose is asking them to do it again. You can support his campaign by clicking here.
It can’t be that difficult – I’ve stood in a car park by the edge of a wood, at 0730 in the morning and done a live radio interview on the Today programme, more than once, thanks to a nifty little satellite dish perched on top of Tom Fielden’s car. Let’s give a much more fluent performer its chance again.
In case we can’t persuade the BBC to do it – is there anyone out there who has some tips on how a similar result can be achieved with a mobile phone pointed at the singing bird? Answers please as comments on this blog. Are there any clever, technically proficient young folk who will give it a go – or old folk, I’m not fussy?
I’d love it if we could find a way to share, live, the beautiful song of this little brown bird with thousands of others who are sitting in their urban flats, or maybe in their cars, or on trains. How do we bring the song of the Nightingale to the public again? The best way would be for the BBC to do it. But maybe we can do it ourselves…[registration_form]