WT Nightjar

Subject: WT Nightjar
Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2007 09:14:07 +1000 (EST)
As reports to this list about the presence or absence of the Jerrabomberra
White-throated Nightjar have been sporadic, I thought I would document
what I know of the sightings of this bird.  The ACT Checklist classifies
the species as a ?rare breeding migrant or vagrant. All records have been
during the warmer months.?

20 March, a.m. ? Matthew Frawley flushed the bird at 08.00 from a small
rock on Jerrabomberra Heath (this name recently coined by Peter Milburn to
describe the elevated area of grassy woodland on your left as you go over
the main footbridge towards Kingston ? the area seems to be becoming
increasingly attractive to migrants as it matures).

20 March, p.m. ? Paul Taylor caught a brief glimpse of the bird at about
19.40, although he was unable to confirm at the time that the bird was
actually the nightjar.

21 March, p.m. ? Paul Taylor, Sue Lashko and I saw the bird briefly, but
well enough to identify it, at 19.40.  It disappeared over the footbridge
and out of sight behind the willows.

22 March, a.m. ? Milburn and Marnix were out around dawn but failed to see
the bird.  I arrived at 08.00 ? saw the Intermediate Egret, but no sign of
the nightjar.

22 March, p.m. ? A dozen or more of us caught a couple of very brief
glimpses of a bird between 19.45 and 20.00 that some identified as a
nightjar.  Personally I didn't see it well enough to be sure.
A Great Egret, Intermediate Egret and White-faced Heron were spotlighted
roosting in fairly close proximity in the willows.  A couple of Hobbies
were hunting in the area on dusk.

23 March, p.m. ? Marnix caught a very brief glimpse of the nightjar.

24 March, a.m. ? I was there before dawn without success.  Sue Lashko and
I searched over the Heath around 07.30 / 08.00 without flushing the bird.
Intermediate Egret still present near Tadorna hide.

25 March, p.m. ? Alastair Smith, Paul Taylor, Anthony Overs, Michael
Wright, me, and various assorted partners, friends and kids had
sensational views from about 18.35 (clocks had changed) for about 10
minutes as the bird hawked to and fro over the woodland in the Fulica hide
area.  All features of the bird were noted including white throat and
orange eye-shine as the bird was repeatedly spotlighted.  Interestingly
the weather was quite cool and breezy ? conditions that I would have
thought would not suit a nightjar.  The previous evenings had been still
and warm, with heaps of insect activity.

26 March, p.m. ? A large crowd (18, I think) turned up for the show but we
were disappointed as the bird failed to show (unless it was seen after I
left?).  Possibly the cooler weather has pushed it on its way north.  The
Intermediate Egret was spotlighted at its roost again.

Today (27 March) ? I plan to give it another go tonight!  Anyone else
going again?


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