Lousy stop-out

After last week’s nocturnal excursion something more relaxed was planned for this weekend.  The birds had other ideas.

A Dotterel had stopped off on Bignor Hill, a 15 mile walk away.  While we’ve had Dotterel only a couple of miles away in the past, it wasn’t on foot (and it wasn’t this year), so Friday afternoon became a brisk walk over there to get it before it moved on northwards.  Stopping only for a look at a surprise Woodlark, I got there early evening after 4 hours of brisk walking.  The bird showed well for an hour and then upped and went.  I was just in time.  I chose a slightly longer route back (but pretty much all downhill rather than climbing back up the downs again) via Rewell Wood, where I stopped off for Nightjars, getting one bird churring and briefly checking me out.  It wasn’t a great view, but better than I had at Pulborough last year.  The downside of this was a late night trek through the Dover, which is still incredibly muddy and a real slog (although a couple of Tawny Owls, one a chick, were some compensation).  I arrived back at 0135 after a 33 mile walk.  That’s earlier than last Friday, but not what was planned.

Saturday was predictably lazy, but we went out for an evening walk in Sompting.  On the way back we had an eye shine in my headtorch on the road in front of us.  It looked like a Nightjar, but they don’t sit on roads in Britain… apparently they do.  This stunning little bird posed beautifully for the camera and allowed a very close approach.  After a while we had had our fill and walked on home, only for it to fly past us and settle on the road in front of us again.     I love Nightjars and I’ve never had a close view of one in the UK, let alone within a mile of home.  At least we arrived home before midnight (just).

One last stretch and next stop Scotland