Caught by the River

Chris Watson Watch

Chris Watson | 3rd August 2010

Cover feature in the latest issue of The Wire.

And on Radio 4;
Thursday 5th August

When he was 14 years old, wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson read about a bird that sings at night. The bird was a Nightingale; and since first reading about it, Chris has been fortunate enough to hear Nightingales both in Britain and Europe but always as part of a chorus of birds.

Now, in this programme, he tries to get a microphone really close to a lone Nightingale to record its remarkable song; a rich, mellow series of notes.

Of course, it’s not as easy as it sounds, and one bird in particular decides to play a game of Hide and Seek and switch song perches. But over the course of several nights, and using different microphone techniques, Chris is able to get closer and closer to a singing male bird. The result, after several sleepless nights, some unexpected recordings and a battle with brambles and nettles is the most astonishing clear, beautiful recording of the song of a Nightingale.

Producer Sarah Blunt