Jul 30 2023

Memorable Moments on the Heath 8: Nightjar

Welcome to the eighth in a series, compiled by Warden Mike, featuring members of the Thames Basin Heaths Partnership team recalling memorable moments on the heath.

Team Leader Victoria: Nightjar

My most memorable moment on the heath is seeing a Nightjar for the first time with my dad. Before being involved in the Thames Basin Heaths Partnership team, I didn’t realise how vital, fragile and rare our lowland heathland is and that we have these amazing birds that breed here!

My dad had heard of Nightjars before, but never knew he would ever see one, let alone within walking distance of his house!

The first time we saw a Nightjar, we were together on Ash Ranges doing a Nightjar survey with Surrey Wildlife Trust (as beginners). One flew over our heads and it was spectacular! This has led to my dad and I carrying out Nightjar surveys together as the ‘experts’ every year and even taking out beginners ourselves! This activity has brought us closer together and it is something we look forward to doing together every year. We even look for Nightjars on heathland when we go on holiday, for example, to Dorset.

I have also extended showing Nightjars to my grandad, friends and other family members. These experiences have been so fantastic and hugely exciting. A Surrey Young Walkers event I organised to see Nightjars on Chobham Common this year attracted over 20 people!

Nightjars have really enriched my life 😊

Photo of brown streaky bird perched on a log.

Nightjar (credit: Rob Solomon)

Thames Basin Heaths Partnership


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