Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Nature Notes: Nightjar

European Nightjars are rare birds in Germany, but there is one area where they live and breed near Hamburg. So Mr Ook and I went there on the weekend to see if we could spot them. We did a guided tour last year, along with 50 other people, and while that was a lot of fun, we thought we'd try on our own this year. A woman we met told us that the guided tour on the day before had 90 participants! I love it that so many people come to heard one bird.
We arrived at dusk and had plenty of time to enjoy the glorious sundown.
Even at ten in the evening, it was still fairly light.
A very new moon was already up.
And finally, the nightjars started calling. We heard at least three different birds and managed to get fairly close to one of them, who even flew right over our heads. Here's a video of the call, it really is one of the strangest things I have ever heard (you may need to turn up the volume):

We left at around 11pm, with the nightjars still calling from all over the valley and the sky slowly fading to a deep blue.

Nature Notes is hosted by Michelle at Rambling Woods

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