Field Reports

Tuesday 5June Nightjar Walk at Rewell Woods

Leader David Hart

Thanks to David Hart’s excellent signage from the A27, 32 eager participants (including 8 visitors) assembled in good time at the wood yard.
After a brief welcome, we ambled northwards to a high point, away from the sound of the traffic. With a range of interests, people were soon chatting and pointing out plants, bird song, the varied surroundings of chestnut coppicing at different stages and scattered trees (conducive to nightjars, we hoped).
Fine stands of foxglove were enjoyed, together with the many common spotted orchids alongside the tracks. Particular note was made of a specimen of gromwell and a magnificent, eye-catching group of 8 bee orchids which were captured on many cameras and phones. A disturbed roe deer sped away in the light of the setting sun.
As it grew dark, we assembled, expectant, at The Spot. A hush descended, tawny owls heard, several woodcocks with their distinctive roding activity seen near a line of pine trees BUT no Nightjars! The decision was made to return to another location and here we were lucky enough to catch the sight of low flying nightjars and hear their communication call ‘coo-lik’. Hopefully, everyone then heard the churring song and could retire, happy, to their beds. Tailenders, who had lingered at the first spot, also reported success.
Many thanks to David for his organization, leadership and knowledge and also to the group for their friendly company.

Gill Hance

One of the eight bee orchids

What a crowd we had!

Foxglove glory

Common spotted orchid

Chichester, West Sussex

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