The Annual Nightjar Hunt

With Nightjar now hard to find in North Wiltshire a June evening visit to Greenham Common has been the default way to get them on the year-list. So having got home late afternoon on Monday from a weekend break in Broadway the evening found me heading east to Newbury and Greenham Common. I arrived a little late for the smaller birds but did manage Linnet and Stonechat along with several singing Song thrushes. As the light began to fade I headed for the regular Nightjar area, all the while keeping a lookout for Woodcock. The first bird seen was a hunting Barn Owl which made a brief appearance at about half-nine. At 21:42 a Nightjar started to churr but it was a fair way away over on the main airfield. I stood my ground another started but this time much closer. These two continued to churr but neither were seen. After about half-an-hour I started to head back to the car and on reaching the main track heard another bird further on into the main site. I decided to head towards it and was getting fairly close when it flew up a little way ahead of me. Despite it being almost dark I had fabulous views as it flew around me both calling and wing clapping. So another successful visit despite the lack of Woodcock for the second year running. Earlier on I had walked along the line of the fences around the cruise missile bunkers and I finally got around to finding some information on why the site is registered as an ancient monument. https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1021040

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