Frankie made it at last! On the 4th attempt to come on the Nightjar visit, she joined me, Ian, Mary, Sharon & Brody for the annual trip to Heyshott Common on the 21st. Really difficult driving into the low sun, but we made it and had a wander around for about ¾ hour, seeing Stonechats and hearing a Tree Pipit’s lovely descending call and a frustratingly close Yellowhammer which was singing but refusing to show itself. Brody noticed a large caterpillar on the path – Ian identified it as of an Emperor moth.
Looked as though there was some problem with one end of it, but it was moved to safety. We noticed someone had set up some recording equipment near where we planned to stand.
About 9.20 we stationed ourselves where I had heard a Nightjar churring on a branch very close by a couple of weeks ago, and after a hesitant start we started to hear some flight calls, then 3 or 4 were churring, and we got some pretty good views of some in flight. Two were quite close to us, and I think it was Sharon, Frankie and Brody who managed to see one sitting on top of a nearby bush. Of course, I just saw it fly off!
As we left soon after 10, we realised that the sound equipment was with David L, and hoped that our chatter didn’t spoil the recordings!
We took the route back to the A272 via the very narrow road, ignoring lots of road closed signs – it wasn’t – and winced on Ian’s behalf every time a moth splattered itself against the car!