Thursday, 15 August 2013

Chobham Common - 13 August 2013

We were joined by KC and Sarah, hoping to repeat our success with Nightjar. It was already chilling down as the last net was in place, three doubles being erected on the clearer areas amongst the purple heather. A mist soon began to rise, raising questions as to how well the birds might be able feed with so few insects on the wing.

 Purple heather and the steadily rising mist behind one of our nets.

We were very fortunate and managed to capture two juvenile Dartford Warblers in the brief window before it became to dark. These were both ringed by KC who had not handled the species before.

The mist was extremely heavy and readily condensed on the nets. The first Nightjar was seen just before 9pm, before it got really dark and it was only about half an hour after that, one was caught in the net shown above.

4 Female Nightjar



We stayed for a while as another bird made a sweep above our nets on a couple of ocassions but it wasn't long before we had no reason to think that there were any birds in our immediate vicinity. It was so misty that headtorches illuminated nothing but white beyond four or so feet and the decision to close just before 10pm was taken. The nets were all very wet and we wondered to what degree the Nightjars collect moisture when flying in such conditions. We were off site by 10.40pm.

Totals: 3

Nightjar 1
Dartford Warbler 2