Trip reports

Blean Woods (Leader Dave Perrin)

Blean Woods (Leader Dave Perrin)
Nightjar [David Tipling - rspb-images.com]

Saturday, 17 June 2017

On what was the hottest day of the year so far, 14 participants abandoned their plans to watch Saturday night television and met in the ancient woodland at RSPB Church Wood/Blean Reserve at 8.30 pm, with torches and insect repellent to hand. Such dedication is inspired by our intrigue over one very special species - the nightjar!

Introductions over, Dave Perrin led us to the chosen spot and we stood for over two hours waiting for our target to appear as darkness descended. Whilst waiting we looked at the planet Jupiter through our scopes and could actually see two of its many moons. Herring gulls flew in formation to their roost site and a green woodpecker yaffled away in the distance.

Yuek and Steve caught a fleeting glimpse of a roding woodcock, which was strangely silent. Then some of the group saw an equally brief silhouette of a nightjar, followed by a few seconds of its mesmeric churring and that was it!!

The evening ended with a grey heron flying over in the almost total darkness plus a couple of bats flitting around. Dave found a single gloworm on the path back which a few of us also saw. The gloworm is actually a beetle and it is the female which emits the green light to attract the males.

Many thanks to Dave for leading the walk in Trevor's absence and for overseeing the complex arrangements. It was much appreciated, especially by Mike who was overjoyed to have experience his first nightjar!

Sue Carter