2023 Season Summary

Our season started on May 7th, when BL visited sites G and AA and found singing males at both. May 10th is the average first report date for Gloucestershire, over the last twenty years. The same evening we were hearing reports from two other heath sites. Two weeks later, we were back at site G … Read more

Records Are There To Be Broken

In 2022, we came across a recording of a bird that sang for 18 minutes, 34 seconds continuously and suggested that this would be hard to beat. Turns out we were wrong about that; this year one of the AudioMoth recordings from site U showed a continuous burst of song that was an astonishing 34 … Read more

Unusual Nightjar vocalisation

On May 25th we visited Site K, where there were reports of 2 males. At around 21:20 one of these birds started churring, some 100 metres away from us. About a minute later, a second male started up, much closer to our position. In the field, we immediately noticed an unusual effect in the second … Read more

2022 Season Summary

Some things in life are even more important than nightjars. Once again, events conspired against the project this year with the result that as far as fieldwork was concerned, the team was reduced to just one person (BL) for large parts of the season. Regardless of the team size, the plan for this year had … Read more

18 minutes 31 seconds

We’ve been reviewing the data gathered by the first deployment of the AudioMoth recorders this season and came across this recording from site AO. Figure 1 shows the pattern of singing between 0300 and 0430 BST, which is the dawn window in which the devices have been configured to record. The longest gap between bouts … Read more

2021 Season Summary

Already well into the 2022 season, we thought it was about time we wrote something about the 2021 season! The first bird of the 2021 season was on May 12th at site AF, where a male was seen in rainy conditions. Two nights later, there were 2 males seen at site AY, but the first … Read more

Gloucestershire records 1858-2015

The history of the Nightjar in Gloucestershire reflects the national one; early records tell us that it was once widespread, that the species has endured a long decline throughout the twentieth century and has then had a modest recovery. Nationally, although overall numbers have recovered somewhat, its range is much contracted and this too is … Read more

A sticky situation

Ground nesting birds always run a risk when breeding. There’s only so much a nightjar can achieve against a predator when its only ammunition is the ability to imitate a stick or make hissy noises with no real backup of force. Over the years we’ve seen evidence of inadvertent trampling by humans, Fallow Deer, Roe … Read more

Stereo recordings

Some stereo recordings of Nightjars singing at dawn. This is one of the best ways to enjoy Nightjars, by going out to watch and listen between 3 and 4:30 AM in late May or early June. Initially, Nightjars are heard with Woodcock and Tawny Owls, but as it gets light, the dawn chorus starts and … Read more

Nest relief

AudioMoth recording of nest relief. Not edited for length, so that the actual duration of events is shown, hence gap between vocalisations. After hearing the male flight call (0:02), the female churrs to the male from the nest (0:03) and gets two calls in response (0:09 – 0:11). Nothing is then heard until 1:30, when … Read more