Making Peace : Addendum

I mentioned in my last post that my father had good timing at odd times. Here’s one more instance for the road!

It was May, 1992. The family were on holiday together in Minorca, a small island in the Mediterranean. We were just leaving a restaurant after a late dinner and we were surprised at how dark it was outside – not a light for miles and no moon. The seven of us stood in the light of the doorway, trying to get our bearings, when Dad called out for us all to be quiet.

“Listen!” he urged as he pointed out into the dark.

A soft breeze wafted up from the fields, and I could make out the dark density of trees, a field away. Then I heard it. A solitary bird singing effortlessly; a song I’d never heard before, in a pattern I couldn’t discern. It was mesmerising – we all stood stock still, till the birdsong ended and slowly turned to look back at Dad.

“THAT…” he said, beaming proudly, ” is a nightingale.”



Listening to bird calls

Here’s a sound clip from the British Library, so that you, too, can say you’ve heard a nightingale sing. (You might have to refresh the link.)

Luscinia megarhynchos : Nightingale – Turdidae.


The British Library ASR IPR STATUS LIST.xls Luscinia megarhynchos : Nightingale – Turdidae W1CDR0001378 BD8

All text by Meg

Story Twigs …! by Meg Philp is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

6 thoughts on “Making Peace : Addendum

  1. Dear Meg,
    I am listening to the Nightingale sing as I write. I love this post, and I can picture everything, from the light spilling out of the doorway, to you and your family all turning to your dad in amazement. Thank you for sharing this special moment with us!


    • Hi dear Naomi. It is an amazing bird song! I never heard one in Britain. On country walks at dusk, I’d get blissed out listening to the blackbirds and thrushes in the hedgerows, though.


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