Trip reports

An Evening Visit to Llanwonno Forestry Commission

Nightjar on ground among heather

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Eleven of us turned up at the Brynffynon Hotel in Llanwonno Forest hoping to see or hear Nightjars. It was a clear night with plenty of midges around which was a good sign. We had come well prepared with different types of headgear and anti mosquito spray to combat the flying pests.

Luckily one of our group had been to Llanwonno a few weeks earlier and had a good idea where we might spot Nightjars. We waited for the sun to set as some of us enjoyed the hospitality of the Brynffynon.

Around the pub we saw Swifts on the wing as well as Swallows darting around in the evening sunlight. On one of the pub walls House Martins had built their mud nests under the eaves of the roof and were busy flying to and fro.

At dusk we made our way to the sighting area in the forest, we noted some Bats flying overhead. After a fairly long walk on the path through the scrub we came across a fellow birder who was watching some trees intently through his scope. We joined him and heard a Nightjar churring nearby.

Then some of us saw a Nightjar perched in one of the trees, which then flew off. We waited in the area in the twilight and heard some more Nightjar churring and then we all had splendid views of a Nightjar flying overhead and circling around very near us.

On the way back along the path we heard more churring and then some of the group spotted a Barn Owl flying across a clearing in the trees. Also two members of our group saw a Tawny Owl in their headlights as the bird flew in front of their car as they drove home through the forest.

So it was well worth the visit to Llanwonno Forest for such good views of a Nightjar in flight.
Viv Jenkins