Regular readers will know how fixated I have become on nightjars over the last few years, and I try and spend a few nights each summer looking and listening out for these weird birds at a handful of sites across the county.
I was recently asked to donate a Lot to the Galloway Fisheries Trust auction which takes place on Saturday 26th June, and my first reaction was to take a couple of people out to see a black grouse lek. Unfortunately, based on this year’s spring on my own ground, I’m inclined to think that this would be a chancy business. The birds were mainly all present and correct, but they were very sporadic and never came together to form a cohesive lek. It would not make for a very spectacular morning if the same were to happen again, so I decided that nightjars would make a more reliable alternative. Following discussions with the Galloway Fisheries Trust, I decided to offer the following and I post this here on the offchance that it may be interesting to a Working for Grouse reader. All proceeds to a very worthy cause.
Lot 87: Nightjar Experience
An evening’s trip to hear (and hopefully see) nightjars, some of the most extraordinary birds in Britain. Nightjars are famous for their weird, mechanical display calls which whirr and hum in the warm summer night. Beautifully camouflaged and usually very hard to find, nightjars come out to hunt over the heather for moths and midges in the twilight. Calling birds create an unforgettable atmosphere in the half darkness, particularly when the sound coincides with roding woodcock, glow worms and other late-night specialists. This hour-long guided walk is led by author and nature writer Patrick Laurie. The trip will take place at one of a few good locations within a 40 minute drive of Newton Stewart and should be made in late May or early June 2018 – precise details will be arranged nearer the time and will be dictated by the nightjars! A short walk may be required, and a midge net is absolutely essential…
An opening bid of £100
If the winning bidder comes via this blog, I might even throw in a pint and something to eat in the pub beforehand. Plenty of other good lots to browse in the meantime!