Nightjar survey

Last week I was in a large area of forest with a group of people, assisting with a research project monitoring the breeding population of Nightjars Caprimulgus europaeus.

nightjar surveying (Small)

This is typical habitat for Nightjar

Nightjar habitat (Medium)

The best time for Nightjar is at dusk when the males give their “churring” song.  You can hear males singing here.  Also at dusk the males will fly around displaying.  During the day they sit motionless on their favourite perch and there are some nice examples of birds perched in day here.

The birds nest amongst rows of young conifer trees and we had to walk up and down between the rows while looking ahead for signs of movement or birds flying away as we approached.

walking between tree lines (Small)

I will not give further details of the process of locating a nest once a bird has flown, but we were successful and here is a Nightjar nest……if you can call it a nest!

Nightjar nest (Small)

Another nice find was this Grayling butterfly.

Grayling butterfly (Large)


2 thoughts on “Nightjar survey

  1. I used to take my kids to hear the nightjars (waving a white handkerchief etc) in a similar habitat to that. Its an amazing and eerie sound to experience, and was special moments for us
    Unfortunately, as the trees grow up, the nightjars move on to new ground. They like heathland rather than woodland..
    Did you hear (see) many..?
    Great experience, arn’t they…
    Nice one on the Grayling… Not seen one of those…

  2. Take a look at my Blog for reports on my numerous evening excursions to a very rare Serpentine Rock heathland area up the road from us in SW France (mapping/GPS info provided).

    The Label “Le Cluzeau” or “Nightjar” are the ones to hit.

    As I type this, most of ‘mine’ have already migrated back to Africa to overwinter. Guess the few remaining ones (mainly fledged this summer) will leave shortly. :Sob:

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