Friday 18 June 2021

Night Moves

It was still in the mid-twenties temperature-wise when Nick and I parked up at Buxton Heath last Wednesday night. I thought we had arrived a little early as the Nightjars don't often start churring until after dark there (in my own experience) but one was already going when we arrived at the spot around 9pm. I set my parabola up, pressed record and stepped back.


It went quiet for about 20 minutes before the churring started again, this time with a backing track from a distant Cuckoo.


Soon after that it flew out of the trees from where it had been singing, glided past us giving a few sonorous croaks and then clapped its wings loudly a couple of times. I had my camera at the ready but instead I just stood and watched it - what amazing views! 

Thankfully the parabola was running so I got a nice record of the moment.



With the light fading, we weren't going to improve on those views, plus rain was on its way and we had a planned rendevous with Mr. Crex back in Norwich. We trooped back to the car as another bird churred away in gathering gloom.


15 minutes later we were back in Norwich. A few days before a Corncrake had been heard calling from Hellesdon Meadows. Whilst I was very pleased to hear Stuart Whites's excellent bird at Thorpe Marshes last year, it was outside my 5 km circle. This one was well within my 5km and in fact just a stone's throw from home. We pulled up at the allotted spot, switched off the engine, rolled down the car windows and there it was craking away. 


In all likelihood, this is bird from the release scheme in Pensthorpe. But still, it will have flown to and from sub-Saharan Africa before pitching down in Hellesdon Meadows so credit where its due. It would be amazing if a breeding population could be established along the Yare or Wensum river valleys in the next few years. Fingers crossed for that.

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