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

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

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

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).