Tuesday, 30 July 2013


My good friend Meyrick Jones booked us a night out down in Trelleck watching Nightjars. The trip was run by the Gwent Wildlife Trust and our guide was a terrific bloke called Thomas who was very helpful, patient and informative. Nightjar's are spring/summer visitors from sub Sahara Africa so obviously this was the best time to see them. We all met up at Beacon Hill car park at about 9pm and then after plastering ourselves with insect repellent went to where the Nightjar territories were at the top of the mountain. It was a lovely warm still evening and a full moon which enabled us to hear and see the birds really well.

Meyrick and yours truly having some refreshment at a Trelleck pub 

nice pic of the local church

the view from the car park

same view but with the sun going down
It was way to dark for any Nightjar photo's so here's some that I borrowed, the male birds differ from the females in that they have white spots on the wing tips and the tail. The males also make the churring noise which is used to hold territories and attract the females. They also wingclap using the top of their wings both birds make a kooick call. The Nightjar's plumage is so good at camouflaging them when roosting by day they're almost impossible to see, that's why the best time to see them is at dusk.

male nightjar showing the white spots on it's wings and tail

nightjars here showing its cryptic plumage

the nightjar is only one of the few birds to perch horizontaly along tree branches

Here's a recording of it's unusual churring call, they were originally called night churr's but the churr changed over the years to jar. There's also wing clapping and it's kooick call.

A massive thank you to my mate Meyrick for booking up the trip and giving me my first ever sighting of these truly remarkable birds. Cheers mate.

Sunday, 28 July 2013


Well hasn't it been hot phew! all I've wanted to do after work is sit in the shade and chill it's been to hot to do anything else.
I have managed a couple of pic's mostly of a few juveniles there's loads about, there's still a few active nests also with birds going for 2 or 3 broods. Swallow, Linnet, Pipit's and Reed buntings are still sitting on eggs or feeding young. There's also butterflies and bees everywhere, I think the hot weather has helped the birds recoup their numbers after last year's bad season.

great spotted woodpecker juvenile with the obvious red cap

two of this years first brood swallows

a young greenfinch

a juvenile siskin

young house martin

this blackbird just getting its adult feathers

one of this years redstarts, was hoping to see a ring on it's leg so it'll be the brood that Steve Carter ringed.

meadow pipit
 Let's hope they make it through their first winter.

I've took these two photo's of butterflies, think they are small tortoiseshell and small white perhaps? I'll have to get myself a buddliah bush.

Also found this common lizard crawling between the stones, it seems to have lost some of it's tail.

common lizard

what's happened to your tail mate?

 Here's some foxgloves they're growing everywhere up here.

This I think is cotton grass:-

This is it close up.

Thought I'd finish with some nice sunset pic's.

It has been a cracking few weeks weather wise lets hope the sun keeps on shining all summer long.