It’s that time of year when I make the pilgrimage to Glapthorn Cow Pasture to listen to Nightingales.
I write about this almost every year (2010, 2012, 2103, 2014, 2016) because that visit to a local wood has become a tradition. I’ve been there with my mum and my late father (over 20 years ago), and I’ve been there with my kids when it meant them staying up late (a treat!) to be able to come and listen and I’ve been there with my kids now they are in their 20s. I was kind of imagining, though I don’t spend that much time thinking about it, that I might, some day, go there with a grandchild. But I almost always make the trip.
So imagine my feelings when this greeted me on a recent visit:
I’m not sure you can imagine actually. I was very upset. I am still upset. The world is not spinning in the proper way – spring has not brought the Nightingales back to Glapthorn.
We stood in the wood for quite a while hoping in vain for a Nightingale to burst into reassuring song but it didn’t happen. This Wildlife Trust reserve still looks great for Nightingales (though I am not actually a Nightingale and their view matters more than mine) but it’s not as though the place has been trashed. It looks as though it has perfect habitat still, and that the Wildlife Trust has done the right mixture of management and benign neglect that should work.
But they aren’t there.
And Birdtrack suggests that nationally Nightingales are late and low this year.
And I haven’t yet seen a House Martin in my street. And Swift numbers are definitely down at the moment. These things are as important to me as Brexit, interest rates and the cost of living. In some ways, more important, because they are fundamental aspects of how the world is working, or not working, rather than artificial human constructs.
I shall be writing to my MP about Nightingales.[registration_form]