Once a common sound heralding the start of summer, the chances are that few of us have ever heard a nightingale. Nightingales are now nationally rare, due mainly to the disappearance of much of its habitat in the UK over the past few decades.
These lovely birds have made an extraordinary comeback at Knepp, thanks to the return of dense, thorny scrub where they like to build their nests. Amazingly, ecologists estimate we now have around 2% of the total UK population of nightingales breeding at Knepp.
The nightingale season begins in early April, when they fly in to England after their arduous annual migration from the African Congo and Sierra Leone. The males arrive first, scouting for nest sites. Females follow a few weeks later, lured from the sky by serenading males.
Though nightingales do sing during the day, the magic is to hear them at night, when other birds are quiet. On the stillest of evenings, in the peak of the season, you can often hear several males from rival territories competing with each other, their liquid notes pouring through the night sky.
Learn more about the extraordinary life-cycle of the nightingale and experience the thrill of its intoxicating nocturnal song on one of our special evening safaris. We’ll guide you to several nightingale territories in the heart of the Wildland Project where you can hear their performance at extraordinarily close range and we’ll round off the evening with a celebratory glass of wine under the stars.
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Unfortunately we cannot offer a refund or alternative date for your safari booking. We also cannot guarantee the great British weather, or that you will see your target species. Nature is unpredictable! However we’re confident you’ll enjoy your experience with us, come rain or shine, and there’s always plenty of wildlife to see. Our safaris are suitable only for children of 12 and over