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.

No comments:

Post a Comment