A repeat of last week’s successful trip to Clumber Park again led by John Parlby but this time with modifications introduced by Geoff Lynes. On this occasion 6 members attended and whether it was the more breezy conditions or because we missed out the ford area at Hardwick Village, only 31 species of bird were ‘ticked’.
This time we missed out on a Kingfisher, Kestrel, Reed Bunting and most disappointingly, Woodcock. However, at the Nightjar clearing, we were serenaded by one or more Whitethroats and we did get to see the Mandarins again and were able to identify both birds as juveniles. We also spent sometime arguing as to whether a ‘pigeon’ was a Stock Dove or a juvenile Wood Pigeon. You’d think that by now, we’d be able to tell but the excuse goes – “the light was bad, the bird was at a distance and sizing it was difficult.” OK you’re right, we were rubbish.
At 9:00 p.m. we were again ensconced in the ‘Nightjar clearing’ but this time, the sky was really clear and so darkness wasn’t falling as quickly as it had last week.
Time passed – no Nightjars – and John became more agitated no doubt worried about any potential homicidal tendencies the group might have in the light of failure. It was noticeable that his pacing up and down took him closer and closer to his car! 10:00 p.m. arrived and the first faint churring was heard. Gradually this became louder and then two of us caught a glimpse of a Nightjar flying. After that it just got better and better with regular sightings of them in flight making their ‘yelping’ call and on one occasion with a sighting of one on the ground. We also got to hear one bird doing the wing clapping courting behaviour. As with last week, we identified at least 3 churring males but this time stayed later only leaving when, although the action was hotting up, it was getting too difficult to see flying birds (sadly the pubs were closed). Another bonus of the breezier conditions was that there were no midges!!!
Thanks to John for again leading this fabulous trip.