Maximum numbers had booked on this rightly, popular trip and with the weather being incredibly warm, with little wind, hopes were high that we would break the previous record of 44 species of bird identified. Indeed, the evening started well with linnets and a Yellow Wagtail spotted on our way to the ford near to Hardwick Village. At or near the ford, a Cetti’s warbler was heard and there were a few Sedge Warblers and Reed Buntings whizzing around to keep us entertained.
At about 9 p.m. we drove to the area where we hoped to see the Nightjars and we’d only been there a few moments when the first Woodcock flew overhead. Ten minutes later, while it was still quite light, we heard the first Nightjar churring. It seemed to be coming from close to the top of some nearby pine trees and this was confirmed a moment later when someone spotted it perched on a branch. We stayed in the same spot until about 10:20 p.m. getting frequent sightings of flying Woodcock with a maximum of 4 at any one time. We also had excellent, close sightings of a male Nightjar, displaying to the female with wing clapping and yelping cries.
The last species to be identified was a cuckoo, which rather surprisingly was still calling after 10 p.m. Total species seen/heard was 44 so the record remains.
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