Nightjar Walk

A search for the elusive Nightjar will take place in the Tamar Valley this summer. On Saturday, July 14 at 8.30pm there will be a magical walk of about two km in length to help monitor these mysterious ground nesting birds.

The event, organised by the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, will see a team of guests and bird expert Richard Hibbert gain access to the Devon Great Consol and surrounding woodland.

It is believed that the nine hectares of open heathland and mine spoil heaps help support between two and four breeding pairs of Nightjars which have been given Red Status by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. This means they are a threatened species on a global scale.

The nocturnal birds can be seen hawking for food at dusk and dawn but their grey-brown mottled plumage mean they are hard to spot. However, their strange rattling churr is unmistakable.

A spokesman from Tamar Valley said: “It’s a wonderful opportunity to hear, and hopefully see a nightjar and it will also enable us to evaluate their presence. Their habitat in the Tamar Valley has increased and we are hopeful that so have the number of birds.”

The walk starts at Bedford Sawmills Car Park and is mainly gentle with some uneven ground and loose gravel around the spoil heaps. Parking is at the Bedford Sawmills Car Park (£2) (PL18 8JE/SX438728), off the A390 between Gunnislake and Tavistock. It costs £2.50 for adults and £1.50 for children.

Booking is essential as numbers are restricted and can be made by calling Becki Lumbis at the Tamar Valley on 01822 835030.

4 thoughts on “Nightjar Walk

  1. Graeme Willetts

    May well be up for this… Do you know how many places there are in total? And also, would it be appropriate to bring camera gear – or would this be frowned upon for such an event? Even from a distance a shot of a nightjar would be magical 🙂 and do you know how long it lasts for?


  2. Graeme Willetts

    Spoken to the organiser and booked – no problems, so don’t worry about the questions, lol. Hope to see you there!

  3. Ironingman

    Last saw Nightjars in Suffolk, by the boundary fence of RAF Bentwaters about 13 years ago. I’d taken a group from RSPB Oxford there, on the offchance of seeing them and we had 7 birds flying round just above our heads! It remains one of the highlights of my birdwatching memories! No chance of photographing them in the dark, but their churring calls are really memorable, as were their wing-clapping. If its a warm, still, dry evening (!) it could be really very exciting indeed. (Don’t know if I’m free yet!)

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