Thursday, 9 August 2012

What a night!

 I have to admit the thought of being eaten alive by midges(soft shite that I am) has always put me off going looking for Nightjars, hence I had'nt seen a one, before last night. But the offer of attending a ringing session in Northumberland was just too good to pass up. (especially as 3 had been ringed a few days earlier at the same site.)
I 'ordered' the better half to try and find the best new midgy gear possible before this evening and she came up trumps! (which seems to have worked this time!), a few of the lads turned up with head nets, body vests and full type bed come the bride- Mr CW or was it prince of Arabia.?
 After a meet-up on the A69 with Adrian it was a case of follow that car...! various twists and turns on country roads later we ended up on the edge of a conifer forest.( I might as well been blind folded didn't have a clue where I was, just as well I wasn't driving).What the few of us who attended know is it was in Slaley forest somewhere and the main man has permission from the Forestry commission to be carrying out this survey work here.
With a couple of nets positioned in a area Adrian had had success in previously, a few of us had a wander up the track leading to the south-east.When we reached a 'Y' junction in the track, the first Nightjar of the evening was heard calling and very close!.. this was 9.25pm. (I checked the time). This bird put on a canny show around this area, floating over our heads at times and landing in the same area it had came from (one of them moments you cannot forget..Incredible for me!). Another net was set up in this area after these sightings, and despite constant contact with the the Jars it didn't produce.

 BUT....the first net/s did produce, only once on various checks, and 2 birds.!..(guess who has the bird in the hand.?  ;-)  looking forward to the blog post.).
The bird in the above shots is a male showing the white flash on the outer wing(when extended) .
What a bird to see so close up and also to encounter in natural habitat so to speak.
Don't think the smile has left my face yet and neither will it when I mention this night again.

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