Among Nightjars

We got into place in good time for our Dusk Delights walk, with busy pairs of Stonechat and Dartford Warbler, then a Redstart, breaking the silence as the daylight faded.

Nightjar silhouetted against the dusk sky

It was around 9.30pm when the first Nightjar started churring. Others soon followed. A pair revealed themselves as they flew out from a tree. After a little more waiting, we managed fantastic views of a couple of Nightjars hawking around the treetops, and there seemed to be churring coming from every direction.

The white wing patches identify this Nightjar as a male

Satisfied, we moved on to another spot, getting a close-up performance of one singing, albiet unseen, from a nearby tree. It started hawking in the moonlight, briefly pursued by a bat! Suddenly, activity really died down and we made our way back, though a distant bird revved up again as we got back to the cars.


Evenings with Nightjars are always magic. These other-wordly birds float effortlessly and silently through the air, making sudden twists and turns as they clap their wings and give their croaking flight call. Their relentless, pulsing song is an experience in itself.