An extremely successful trip to Clumber Park was led by John Parlby on Thursday evening 26th June. The maximum of 10 members attended and 40 species of bird were clocked up in the 3.5 hours that we were there.
Initially we went to Hardwick village where we visited the ford and lake areas and then moved on to the ornamental bridge where we encountered the most impressive items on the ‘starter menu’ – a kingfisher was seen flying across the lake and two female Mandarins were seen roosting together on a tree branch very close to where we’d parked the cars.
At 9:00 p.m. we set off in search of the main course. At 9:15 all were assembled in the forest clearing to watch a rather weak sunset and get eyes adjusted to the gathering gloom. At first we were greeted by a late evening Yellow Hammer and then a Song Thrush cut in. As it got progressively darker, the midges came out and the well prepared individuals donned head nets while the rest suffered in silence. At about 9:30, we were partially rewarded with several calling Woodcock flying overhead. 9:45 and the first churring began followed rapidly by a first brief siting of a male Nightjar. Then, after a few minutes silence the churring started again but this time it came from two points of the compass. For the next 35 minutes we enjoyed hearing up to 3 calling males and on at least three occasions were able to watch 2 males in the air at once, chasing one another. At 10:20 with the smell of beer on the air, the party broke up.
Thanks to John for again leading this fabulous trip. A repeat is planned for 3rd July 2014 (provided that the weather is good) so sign up if you want to go – those that went on the first are still eligible for the return match if there enough places available.