Cryptically camouflaged in greys and browns, Nightjars look just like fallen logs and are almost impossible to spot during the day. As the sun starts to fade, its mechanical sounding ‘churring’ call can be heard. When seen, it has a very unusual flight comprising a deep flapping action followed by periods of gliding. Its overall shape closely resembles a hawk or a cuckoo, but the bright white spots on the outer tail feathers of the male bird are distinctive and quite noticeable even in very poor light.
Friendly neighbourhood peregrine falcon takes a young starling on a tour of the town.
Some will say this is the bad or ugly side of nature but there isn’t a ‘bad’ side, there is only nature. A female peregrine falcon glides with her prey, collected from her partner, to feed the next generation of airborne assassins.
One of the greatest delights of summer is the presence of terns around our coasts. Their graceful flight, acrobatic hovering and plunge dives are a spectacular sight. Here is a Common tern hovering before its dive.
Even in small patches of reeds, Reed Warblers can be surprisingly difficult to find. The easiest way to find one is to listen for its song this can reveal a singing bird perched in a more exposed location.
Swifts are the ultimate birds, surpassing all others in their mastery of the air. Elegant, bewitching and indefatigable, from the moment a young swift takes flight for the first time, they will not touch land again for two years, until they are ready to nest.
Except when nesting, swifts spend their lives in the air, living on the insects caught in flight; they drink, feed, and often mate and sleep on the wing. Some individuals go 10 months without landing. No other bird spends as much of its life in flight.