Tuesday, 30 September 2014

European Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus)

Two views of European Nightjar (subspecies C. e. europeaat Middlesex Filter Beds, London - September 2014

OTHER NAMES: Eurasian Nightjar
Featured Subspecies: Caprimulgus europaeus europea
Weight: 51-101g
Length: 24-28cm
Wingspan: 52-59cm
UK RED LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

If I am honest, the Nightjar was a strong contender for the species I was least looking forward to tracking down.  It is highly crepuscular, incredibly well camouflaged and found on heath-land that isn't anywhere near my normal stomping grounds.  The sum total of which would be having to find a late running train-station near an appropriate heath-land or a lot of begging.  Neither appealed, and thus it was with great relief that this individual turned up in London for a few days, sleeping on a branch in a small city nature reserve.  While not going to give me any awards, this is a far better photo than I was ever expecting of this species which are normally only seen at dusk.  The benefit at least of species that rely on camouflage is that they aren't that bothered about people fairly nearby, including in this case, dog walkers and cyclists within 8 or so meters.

Related Species:
Order: Caprimulgiformes
Family: Caprimulgidae
Genus: Caprimulgus
Subspecies: C. e. europaeus, C. e. meridionalis, C. e. sarudnyi, C. e. unwini, C. e. plumipes, C. e. dementievi

 - Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - A scarce and locally Summer breeding visitor (4500 pairs).
 - A single individual seen as a passage migrant/vagrant to Middlesex Filter Beds in September 2014.  Ordinarily not seen on passage.

Further Notes: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuides, BirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List

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