Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus)
Jon Cartwright was able to photograph an elusive Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus) in Fastings Coppice. As a summer visitor to the UK, Nightjars arrive to breed in mid-May and have normally left for their winter grounds in southern Africa by late August – a brief visit of four months. So for Jon to see and photograph this individual Nightjar in early October is somewhat unusual.
Largely nocturnal birds by nature, their flight is eerily silent, some would say almost supernatural. Other myths surrounding Nightjars include their supposed ability to steal milk from goats.
Recent research seems to show that the Nightjar is able to syncronise its migration flight with phases of the moon, the first time an animals migration pattern has been shown to be associated with the lunar cycle.