NIGHTINGALES have returned to Fingringhoe Wick nature reserve - the best place in the country to hear the birds up close.

The birds' powerful voice can be heard until mid-May as they try to impress a mate.

The birds are completing their annual long-haul migration from Africa to the UK, where they will find a mate and nest throughout the summer.

Essex Wildlife Trust’s Emily McParland said: “We have around 40 Nightingale pairs at Fingringhoe Wick annually and because of the numerous trails around the reserve it allows fantastic up-close encounters, without the birds being disturbed.”

Essex Wildlife Trust is holding guided evening walks, to celebrate the repertoire of the small songbird.

They start on Sunday, April 22 and continue every day from 7.30pm to 9pm until Friday May 11.

Book in advance by calling 01206 729678.

A £6 donation per person is recommended.