Steyning is a bit farther away than we normally go at the moment, but it has the nearest Nightingales to home (the clear skies have meant we have had no migrating birds from the house this year). To maximise distancing and to get there at prime singing time we decided on a dawn raid, leaving the house at 0430. We certainly weren’t up before the larks, which were singing as we walked up the down, but we were up before the sun – that came up about four miles into the walk.
At Steyning, after a glorious but decidedly cold pre-dawn walk, we had arrived before the Nightingales had thawed out. We had a bit of a wait, but when they did one gave us a fantastic serenade. To relive the experience, stand in a blast chiller for about an hour before playing the recording on a loop for about 10 minutes, during which time you can look at the picture for no more than 5 s.
We then moved on to our next target: a bluebell wood. There’s not many in lockdown distance and our first try had only a few bluebells. On the way home, though we stumbled across a tiny, but beautiful one.