Thursday 24 July 2014

Week 7: BBQs, Nightjars and Tawny Owls

Common Nighthawk, Chordeiles minor, Offset rep...
Once a year the RSPB staff at Pulborough organise a BBQ for their volunteers.  A chance to relax, meet people I never see at any other time of the year and usually get an update on what's happening round and about at the reserve.

It's also a great opportunity to take a walk at dusk out on to the heathland and listen out and maybe even see a nightjar.  This usually involves standing around, quietly for several mintues waiting for the churring to start.

Sometimes you're lucky and they come quite close, occasionally you get a fleeting glimpse as one flies close by or overhead and even better is whenyou see one silhouetted on a branch.

We did hear one or two but they were way off in the distance and didn't get any closer before it got too dark and we left.

There was a tawny owl close by though and a variety of different bats to keep us interested.

Nightjars are elusive, rarely seen and migratory.  To stand the best chance of hearing one - check your local RSPB reserve and see if they are running any events.

Common Nighthawk, Chordeiles minor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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