The forecast was that it would stop raining at 17:00 and then remain dry for our evening trip. At 16:30 it was still raining persistently so a quick phone call to the trip leader John Parlby and the trip was cancelled. The next phone call to one of the members discovered that they’d already set off and didn’t want to be put off. A subsequent phone call to another member representing three others, established that nobody wanted the trip cancelled!!!! Trip back on. As trip organiser, I can only blame the others for what turned out to be an evening of persistent light rain and low cloud.
In spite of the damp and gloom, the spirits of the party of ten remained remarkably high and when the two recorders lists were amalgamated, an amazing total of 42 species had been clocked up.
Some of the highlights early evening were a family of Grey Wagtails, sightings of Sedge Warblers feeding their young and the enormous numbers of Swallows, Swifts and House Martins arrowing through the air at all levels. Raptors were unsurprisingly, largely absent but we did get close to a female Sparrowhawk and a Kestrel and Buzzard were seen at some distance.
At 20:30 we set off for the Nightjar watch point where we were rewarded by a churring male at 21:20 (no doubt the gloom brought on this early awakening). After that there was a fleeting sighting of the bird in the trees accompanied by its yelping call but the icing on the cake was the extended view that we all got of a Nightjar flying across the clearing. But sadly, that was its final appearance and from then on we had to be satisfied with a few calls and churrs. However, unlike the earlier Nightjar trip, we did get excellent and numerous views of Woodcock. All in all, maximum pleasure was rung out of a foul evening.