Bird Meeting at Mottistone Down on 24th June 2022

Unlike last year’s meeting which took place under perfect summer evening conditions to view and hear Nightjars, this year was the opposite. The forecast was for light, patchy rain but by the time I arrived for the evening meeting at the car park in Strawberry Lane, the rain was torrential. Incredibly, 6 other members and a guest turned up although two decided the weather was too bad for Nightjars. The Met Office app forecasted the rain to clear by 9pm so the remaining six optimists stayed put. Incredibly, the rain did cease as forecast and a Buzzard then flew overhead. Although it was a strong wind, which was not conducive for Nightjar watching, we decided to walk up to the main viewing site. Against the odds, within ten minutes of arriving at the watchpoint, a Nightjar flew up from the common and over us to the heathland. We then had two other sightings of birds flying across the heathland during the next five minutes. Three birds in such unlikely conditions was an excellent outcome and it was a happy group who made their way back to the car park. A Barn Owl flying across the road as I left Calbourne was an additional bonus and a lovely end to the evening. Jim Baldwin

About the Author