Now is the time to look for Nightjars

If you haven’t yet been up on to the Forest in the evening now is the best time to get up there and enjoy the sights and sounds! Although the weather hasn’t been that appealing the wildlife is still getting on with it. Arrive about an hour before dusk in an open area of heathland not that far from woodland, and stay until at least 10pm, and you should hear the distinctive sound of Nightjars churring. You may even be lucky enough to see one! These illusive birds nest on the ground in our heathland and very little is really known about them. Males find perches to chur from to attract females and to possibly guard their territory, display often involves “wing clapping” and the male emits a slower chur. The females aren’t silent however, they often make a noise that sounds like “gu-ick”.

Another evening species are Woodcock, a secretive bird that by day hides in the leaf-litter in woods. They fly around a large area making a high pitched “pip” sound which get lengthened when another bird encroaches their flightpath. Woodcock, like Snipe, rode. This noise can often be heard as a low pitch “ahrub-barru” and normally occurs after each “pip” call (but not all the time).

If you’re planning a trip up then the only thing that will hamper your enjoyment is the insect life. Cover up as many exposed areas as possible, including hat and gloves! You have been warned.

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