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

Vocalisations

Various sounds we’ve heard in the field, and in particular a recording we made at a nest, have had me searching through the literature to find a reference giving some context. Because it is sometimes difficult to be sure about which vocalisation is being described, I made a table cross referencing some of the primary … Read more

Site overview

All of the sites within our survey area exist within the area shown on this map. At the time of writing, Nightjars are not to be found anywhere else in Gloucestershire. With just a few exceptions, the vast majority of Nightjar sites in the Forest of Dean are a result of clear-felling and the various … Read more

2020 update for GNS

As originally published in ‘GNS News’ in March 2021 for the Gloucestershire Naturalists’ Society (www.glosnats.org).

2020 Season Summary pt.2

First published at https://www.benlocke.co.uk/2020-nightjar-season-summary-part-2/. Part 2 – July-August During a few days toward the end of June I spent a bit of time at a site that used to be my favourite place to watch Nightjars. It’s where I first started watching them properly. I’d never managed to find a nest at this site though. … Read more

2020 Season Summary pt.1

First published at https://www.benlocke.co.uk/2020-nightjar-season-summary-part-1/. Part 1 – May-June When the 2020 nightjar season got underway, Britain was in Covid-19 lockdown. Consequently, with everything I had planned cancelled, and with little else to work on, I decided to switch my daily ‘exercise’ to the evenings and start looking for nightjars early. Given that much of the … Read more

2019 Update for GNS

As originally published in ‘GNS News’ in 2020 for the Gloucestershire Naturalists’ Society (www.glosnats.org).