And a nightingale sang (...er, near the station!)

IPSWICH: Nesting deep in shrubbery on the banks of the River Orwell is believed to be the most unlikely resident.

They may look like ordinary brown birds, but their song tells another story.

The charm of the nightingale shot to prominence during the Second World War in a famous song, A Nightingale sang in Berkeley Square, which was made popular after Dame Vera Lynn performed it in 1940.

One Ipswich reader today told the Evening Star how she has spotted a nightingale nesting, of all places, near to the busy Princes Street bridge and Ipswich Railway Station.

Irene Schrieder, of Seymour Road, said she first heard the nightingale singing around a month ago.

The 49-year-old said late last week she was passing the area again with her son when she whistled to the bird.

“It responded,” she said. “I know what they sound like and it is certainly a nightingale.

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“Usually, they nest in parks and bushy places, or wooded areas. An overgrown garden would be ideal.

“When I first heard its song, I just thought it sounded beautiful. It is nesting near to the site where they are going to be building a new Tesco.

“It would just be such a shame. I dearly hope they will not destroy this little patch of nature.”

Mrs Schrieder said it was the first time she had come across a nightingale singing in Ipswich before. She moved to the UK with her family from Germany, where she said she often heard their beautiful song.

The notion of a nightingale nesting in the centre of the town is “atypical but not impossible,” according to bird expert Ian Barthorpe.

Mr Barthorpe, who works for the RSPB, said it is the right time of year to hear nightingales singing but warned they can be mistaken for robins or blackbirds.

He said: “Town centres are not normally where you would expect to find nightingales.

“They do like shrubbery and areas where there is thick undergrowth so if there is a large patch of scrub land it is possible.

“But nightingales are not the only birds that sing at night, 95 per cent of birds heard at night are robins and blackbirds singing under street lights.”

He added: “If Mrs Schrieder has regularly heard nightingales she will know whether it is a nightingale or not. You know when you have heard a nightingale sing.

n Have you heard the Ipswich nightingale sing? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or you can send an e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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