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Dordogne, France

Nightingales in the Dordogne

Posted by Luci Ackers on Mar 03, 2015
Nightingales in the Dordogne
Nightingales in the Dordogne

Nightingales, despite their name, do not only sing at night, and it is not only the females who produce the famous notes. It is thought the nightingale's nocturnal song is actually produced by unpaired males hoping to attract a mate. The beautiful songs are perhaps more evident during the night time when there is less interference from other songbirds, and it is thought that this is what prompted their name. For paired nightingales it is actually more common for them to make instead day time territorial calls; these can also be heard at dawn during the hour before sunrise.

The Nightingale is perhaps more frequently heard than seen and almost unremarkable to look at when compared with their highly praised voices – their music is a fast-changing sequence of high and low notes. But the nightingale is a relatively plain bird, quite small with brown plumage, a slightly reddish-brown tail and a paler brown breast.

If you happen to be in the south of France, you are in an excellent place to hear these lovely birds, they are more common and less localised in Europe than Britain where they are at their northern limit. The Dordogne is a particularly good place for songbirds, it provides the perfect habitat for Nightingales who are quite secretive birds and particularly like to hide in the hedgerows and thickets. Being a migratory species they favour the scrub and forest of Europe for breeding, building their nests near to the ground in dense vegetation. The time for nightingales is spring and very early summer. They tend to arrive in April, sing until late May and early June, and then leave again from July.

For an excellent get-away in the Dordogne, Constant is a beautifully restored ancient hamlet that serves as an idea base from which to explore the countryside and spot these birds for yourself. Follow the link below to find out how you can stay here.

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Luci Ackers
Author: Luci Ackers

Luci loves getting out and about for a good cycle ride or easy-going walks in the countryside, and thoroughly enjoyed the time she previously spent working for the National Trust. Her love of writing started from a young age and on rainy days nothing beats curling up in a secret corner with a good book.

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