Monday 20 May 2013

Nightjar - PATCH TICK!!

My first visit back to the patch on Sunday morning after ten days in Spain and I scored with a full PATCH TICK - a Nightjar.

This rounded off a superb trip and a Northumberland and British tick at Chevington the same morning - Great Reed Warbler.

After wandering up to Chibburn Mouth to see the great reed, we set about doing the WeBS count at Druridge, after checking the Budge fields from the screen-hide, I walked through he bushes and virtually immediately flushed a large bird from the path. It flew off low, like a sparrowhawk, generally brown, but showing lots of white in the wing. It wasn't a sparrowhawk and with the white in the wing, nightjar immediately sprung to mind, but I didn't have good enough views to be sure. It caused much consternation with the nesting whitethroats as it flew off.

I continued along the bushes where a willow warbler and whitethroat were scolding something - below them was a nightjar, sat out on a low branch, looking straight at me. I could hardly believe it. I called on Janet who was on the road and called Dave Elliott, who was up at Hadston. Whilst on the 'phone, the bird flew off, low again, but kept going. We searched for it but couldn't find it. Seemingly the Dack boys saw it later that afternoon, still being scolded by warblers.

Nightjar is a species that was never on my radar for Druridge, so it was nice to literally stumble across one. Shame it's only worth two measly points in Patchwork Challenge.

This is my first patch-tick since last August's honey buzzard and takes my patch list to 228

I'm on a bit of a run, having found Catalunya's first-ever shore lark whilst we were in Spain

I missed a few good birds on the patch whilst I was away. ADMc re-found the great egret on the Budge fields which also hosted ruff and wood sandpiper in my absence.

118 nightjar
119 reed warbler

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