Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Dorset Holiday-Day 11: Portsmouth Historic Dockyards, Undisclosed Site

Having moved on to Fareham it seemed likely that the rate at which I was gathering numbers would slow down, and so it proved. Today we went to the Historic Dockyards in Portsmouth, as had been my brothers wish. However, when I saw the prices of the venues, I opted out to save my dad some money. Thus I spent the day wandering around Portsmouth, with little wildlife to gain. I did see some Mullet in the free section of the dockyards, but that and Feral Pigeons aside, there was little going on.
That evening my dad and I set out to see if we could find any nightjars. My dad had asked the warden for the code into the woods and had got information that the nightjars were best seen in a different part of the wood, where there were two nests.
So we headed off to that described location and waited. Within half and hour we had heard churring and my dad suggested we move away from the clearing where we were and go to try and follow the churring. I though suggested that we wait. 
Not long after that we spotted our first, as two birds flew over the tree line and flew around, and came to where we were standing. There was a tree 5 meters away and the birds came and landed there. There are no words for how exciting this is. We got smashing views, so close we could touch it, we saw it landed, hovering, churring, wing clapping, everything you could want for a nightjar walk.
By the time we decided we had best be heading back we had 4 Nightjars flying around us at close quarters, and evening to remember certainly. The only downside was that due to the darkness I could get no photos. I tried a few with flash but could not focus on the birds due to the darkness and did not want to disturb the birds by using it. However, from the four attempts I made with flash, the below effort is reasonable and serves as a record shot 
so that was a nice end to an otherwise fairly dull day. Hopefully the nightjar watch tomorrow night will be just as successful.

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