Thursday, 20 June 2013

A night in the Brecks looking for Nightjar

The weather report said hot, dry and no wind and it's the middle of June so perfect for Nightjar. I text Jimmy and asked if he was interested in an evening mission to find Nightjar in the Brecks. The text was received with immediate approval and we set off to Breckland at 8pm arriving in a forest clearing by 9pm to find nine other birders had also decided tonight was a good night for Nightjar. We waited and at 9.25pm had our first of a dozen or more Woodcock flying over the clearing as they called. Tawny and Little Owl were heard from every corner of the forest and deers barked as the rest of the forest fell to silence with the last of the birds singing their final song of the day. Then at around 10pm we heard the first of several churring Nightjar, a strange noise like an engine running and by cupping our ears in our hands the noise was magnified. We heard a couple of wing claps too as the birds flew around out of site to us before finally seeing two birds flying quite close as we exited the forest around 10.30pm. It's quite an experience to be stood in the middle of a forest in darkness listening to all the birds and animals either settling down for the night or just about to get up for a night of hunting and hawking and it added bird 253 to my year list.

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