SWT LACKFORD LAKES: Birds tune up for reserve’s annual singing contest

Nightingale by Ian Goodall/SWT ANL-150704-101034001
Nightingale by Ian Goodall/SWT ANL-150704-101034001
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April sees the annual singing contest between the bird life at Suffolk Wildlife Trusts Lackford Lakes nature reserve as they sing to attract a mate.

More and more birds will enter the contest as the month goes on with the arrival of birds coming back from Africa.

Reed warbler by Ian Goodall/SWT ANL-150704-101045001

Reed warbler by Ian Goodall/SWT ANL-150704-101045001

Our resident birds like the robin and song thrush have been warming up for a little while now but the singing contest begins properly as the warblers check in. These birds may be around the size of a sparrow and don’t look that pretty but when they open their beaks, the most amazing sound comes out. To me, spring does not begin until I hear the beautiful sound of a willow warbler; they create a series of sweet, liquid notes.

Each type of warbler sounds different and is a delight to listen to. Some love showing off like the whitethroat with its scratchy sound, while others like the reed warbler makes it squeaky sound from deep within the reeds.

Another bird that will be back soon and often ends up stealing the show, is the nightingale, with its far carrying, rich and varied song. These birds set up territory around the visitor centre and can be heard throughout mid/late April and early May.

With many due to check in early April, we are having our next Wild for the Weekend event tomorow and Sunday, exploring the sounds of spring. Wildlife guides will be available to help identify what is singing by our trails. Children can also pick up a sounds of spring spotter sheet. Visitors can join us anytime between 11am and 4pm each day.

Common whitethroat by Pat Crofton/SWT ANL-150704-101023001

Common whitethroat by Pat Crofton/SWT ANL-150704-101023001

This year, we are recording the arrival of birds from Africa – so far our first swallow was on April 1 and our first blackcap was on April 2.

Many more will be arriving over the coming days, to follow our arrivals keep an eye on our website at www.suffolkwildlifetrust.org/reserves/lackford-lakes

-- Pictures (from top nightingale, reed warbler, common whitethroat, blackcap, sedge warbler) by Pat Crofton & Ian Goodall

Blackcap by Pat Crofton/SWT ANL-150704-101010001

Blackcap by Pat Crofton/SWT ANL-150704-101010001

Sedge warbler by Pat Crofton/SWT ANL-150704-101056001

Sedge warbler by Pat Crofton/SWT ANL-150704-101056001