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A warm evening with a slight breeze had five members and three guests meet to hear and hopefully see nightjars, and we were not disappointed. The clear fell site was surrounded by mature trees and covered with vegetation up to approximately 1m in height. Churring started at about 9.40pm from the far end of the clearing and it was not long afterwards, whilst still light that two nightjars were seen at the far end. They would feed briefly then drop back in to the vegetation. A few minutes later a nightjar was spotted approximately 25m in front of us lifting off the ground and hawking for moths with that distinct contact call as it flew. The white markings on wings and tail confirmed it was a male. This male made at least three more flights from the same location. A barn owl was also hunting low over the clearing.
It is believed at least two nest sites were at this clearing. Churring could also be heard from another clearing not far from this location. With fading light and mission accomplished the group left the site at about 10.10pm.
|© Ryedale Natural History Society 2016.|