The last wild evening of June

I had one last wild experience to finish off my #30dayswild this June. After a barbecue to celebrate the last night of our National Trust Working Holiday, the ranger took me and another volunteer to see nightjars. As the light began to seep from the day we drove through the empty park, a real treat to have it to ourselves.

It was still light so we were able to see orchids flowering on the verge, the result of a changed mowing regime in the area.

Under darkening skies we walked into an area of forestry, cut in the last couple of years, the new growth the perfect habitat for nightjars. We stood and waited, anticipation building. Woodcock were the first to be seen, riding close to us. Then nightjar, churning loudly from the trees, their call causing a ripple down the spine, primeval unease at the eerie sound.

Not just one, but two nightjars, fast and low right above our heads, their acrobatic flight taking them between the trees, Ke-wick contact calls sounding, churning starting up again, a sudden silence, the sound starting again from a new perch. A wonderful way to finish a very wild month!

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