Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Night-time manoeuvres pt 2

After going to Chobham last week, with a warm day and clear skies, I went back again last night but this time in the company of Dave Simms and later on my brother-in-law Martin
Bird-wise it was very much as before. After getting there at about 7.15, the first thing we saw was this broad-bodied chaser soaking up the evening sun.

We quickly picked up Dartford warblers on the heath, , including this one with a large juicy caterpillar. Despite searching we couldn't find any tree pipits though.
Presumably because of the nicer weather, the main course got going a lot earlier. It was still quite light, around 8.30, when we both saw our first woodcock and heard the first nightjar churring in the heath. Over the next two hours, the woodcocks were regularly seen, I'd guess we had over 20 sightings. The only estimate of total birds though can be 4, as we had that number all together chasing each other at one time. I did try to photograph them, but the fact it was almost dark didn't help!!

The nightjars gradually warmed up and started calling from 9.30 onwards until we left at about 10.30. Again, it was hard to give an accurate number but we think at least 5 birds were calling. We only in that time had one very brief glimpse of a bird in flight. In future I think the lower rather than higher path may be a better place to watch from, as the calling seemed louder there.
I still want to go back again to get a better view of the nightjars though!!