Long time, no post... is what people who are gradually abandoning their blog usually say after a long time... with no posts. Well, that's not happening here; I've simply been cutting back over the birding down time to save a bit of money for my holidays. I did visit Pennington Marshes in Hampshire for Black-winged Stilts and a Night Heron, and saw a Little Tern at Upton Warren when I really wanted a Little Gull... but other than that I've been out of the game.
Tonight, temporarily, I returned for the annual pilgrimage to Boys Grave and the Nightjar. First though, a stop at Ruardean Hill Baptist Church to see the Turtle Doves currently loitering just down the track. Very obliging indeed. I heard them before I saw them, and then saw them well. Low in the trees, purring away. Very pleasing indeed.
At Boys Grave there were plenty of insects, and nearly as many Woodcock flypasts. Well... there were twelve. Some occured before it got dark and were in satisfying technicolour. A good show. The Nightjars were less obliging. A couple of distant flights offered good views of the male's white wing patches, and twice a bird perched on the thinner of the two dead trees allowing for a rather gloomy inspection of it's plumage.
Incidentally, the Boy needs a trim. I have no problem with the clearing at Boys Grave gradually disappearing, but whilst the place can still be used as a place to see Nightjars I think some effort should be made to keep the view across the clearing well... clear. If it were up to me, I'd have the trees that have grown up directly infront of the most commonly used viewpoint cut down.