There were 5 of us (Louise, Grahame, Paul, Nige and me) for the Nightjar outing to Heyshott on 26 June, which meant we could all fit into Louise’s roomy VW.

The weather forecast had been for the wind to drop (it didn’t) and the sky to be clear (it wasn’t) but the 3rd requisite for Nightjar watching is warmth, and it was very pleasantly so. We set out for a short walk around, enjoying views of Tree Pipits and Stonechats, to the accompaniment of a singing Yellowhammer. Some finches silhouetted against the darkening sky were probably Siskins.

At about 9.45 a yip yip was heard from near the road, and churring started. Not long afterwards a bird flew and perched on a small bare branch low down on a nearby pine, and another joined it. We then had about 20 minutes of 3, sometimes 4, birds flying around where we were standing, with 1 or 2 birds returning to perch on the tree. Lovely close encounters. Nige didn’t even have to jump up and down waving the white patches on his jumper!

Many thanks to Grahame for the supply of sweets, and to Louise for being our chauffeur for the outing, and giving us a taster of her lovely rhubarb & blackberry gin afterwards!