Jun 27 2018

Night vision!


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Nightjar at dusk on the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area

Nightjar at dusk on the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area

Have you ever wondered how Nightjars can comfortably go about their business long after you’ve stumbled back to the car park with your pocket torch, as the late evening twilight turns to darkness?

Nightjars (and other nocturnal creatures) have a reflective disc – the tapetum lucidum – at the back of their eyes which reflects light back through the retina. This makes more light available for the photoreceptors to turn into visual images.

The presence of species with mirror-like tapeta is often given away by eye-shine in torchlight – so, keep a look-out when you’re out in the dark and you might find something staring at you from the undergrowth!

Warden Michael

Special thanks to local photographer and Nightjar enthusiast Gary Avery for sharing this fantastic photograph taken on the Special Protection Area.

 

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