Friends of the Forest Nightjar Walk – 29th June 2017

Around 25 members from Friends of the Forest joined members of the Ashdown Bird Group for a Nightjar walk at 8:30pm in Long car park. Once confident everyone had arrived we set out walking down the Airstrip and then turning left and walking through the wooded area to the left of the Airstrip. In this area we heard and saw Tree Pipit and a male Stonechat, further along Chiffchaff and Redstart were heard calling. Both Song Thrush and Blackbird were singing loudly from high perches.

Re-joining the main ride down just beyond the Airstrip, we stopped for a while to listen. A Whitethroat and family party of Stonechats were seen and someone had thought they’d heard a Nightjar churr briefly. There was no further sign after 10 or so minutes so we continued down a short way into some open pine woodland hoping for Woodcock, however, they were conspicuous by their absence.

We walked back up to where the initial Nightjar was thought to have been heard and waited around but no further sign was heard so we started to walk on. At this point the group had split into three with members of the ABG leading each. As the darkness of night fell and time ticked on all groups started to hear Nightjars. One group headed straight up the Airstrip, another around past the pond and to Five-ways and the other eventually coming back up the Airstrip.

Despite the lack of sightings, the birds could be heard calling, singing and wing clapping. I hope everyone enjoyed their evening, thank you all for coming, I would especially like to thank the Ashdown Bird Group members who came along and happily chatted and imparted their knowledge of birds.

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