On Sunday 22nd May I had my annual visit to Fingringhoe to hear the Nightingales. A 5 mile circular walk heads first along a by-way. The lane, a delight in itself, edged with wildflowers, hedgerows in blossom and bird song but the views of the extensive woodland to the right are breathtaking across a valley. A herd of mixed breed cows of various colours accompanied by their young calves added to the pastoral scene. Further along in a field with sheep and their lambs we heard the first nightingale a liquid distinctive call joined by robins, blackbirds and warblers, everywhere a joy to the senses except the pollen which doesn’t agree with me.
After walking through the large wood we had seen earlier and owned by the MOD and near to the riverside village of Rowhedge we were shocked to see a large swathe of the wood cleared and an access road now cut through it. This led to a new housing development which is being built on an old industrial site between the village and a nature reserve. With so many houses going up and all those extra people the tranquillity of the area will be lost then will the Nightingales be lost too? It cast a shadow on what had been a wonderful walk. On the way home detoured off to find Oxley Meadow as mentioned in my last Maylwatch. We found it and what a sight it was. A rectangular meadow filled with buttercups, and am reliably informed by a couple living alongside it, approximately 70,000 green winged Orchids. The field was smothered in them. I have never seen anything so spectacular and in our own county of Essex WOW. Mostly purple with a few pink and white scattered in. The green bit is the veining on the inside of the flowers and the wing is the shape at the bottom of the flower. They will probably be over by June but well worth a visit next year. It will soon be the longest day again then the nights will start drawing in, oh dear! Maisie