186/365 Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus


I was sitting in a hide waiting for a species of bird that, in the end, never turned up! Anyway, in the distance I could hear a nightjar churring away even though it was 2 hours before sunset! As you can imagine I was very intrigued to find out where this individual was but decided to sit in the hide waiting for my target subject.  What happened next was pretty incredible.. I heard the nightjar churring again so tried to locate the position of the calling so I could go out and try and find it later that evening.  Next thing, the Nightjar came flying over the trees in front of me and landed in a pine tree right opposite the hide.  I couldn’t believe my luck!! 😉 I didn’t leave the hide until I knew my target species wasn’t going to arrive.  I watched the nightjar for about 45 minutes from the hide through live view on the camera. It was mesmerising to see such a hard to find bird just resting completely relaxed on the branch right in front of me.  I continued to watch it as it yawned, and waddled up and down the branch to find the best position for its camouflage to work.  With the last rays of light just tipping the trees behind the hide, I knew that my target species wasn’t going to arrive this late so took the opportunity to photograph the nightjar instead.  And here’s one of the images…  a beautiful bird and superb camouflage… a truly memorable evening out in the field.

Whats your best memory?

Nightjar, Caprimulgus europaeus, Hungary, June, 2013
Canon 5D mk3 with Canon 500mm f/4 L IS and 1.4x III converter, 1/100sec at f/5.6 ISO 2000.

186/365 Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus

094/365 Montane Nightjar


Getting low down is the only way to go sometimes.  Shooting this nightjar from above would have been impossible as I wouldn’t have been able to approach this bird from a standing position. I decided to get down low and commando crawl up to this bird that I spotted perched next to the road whilst I was in Kenya.  The red eye is a result of the reflection of the flash from my camera…. should have used red eye reduction mode 😉

Montane Nightjar, Caprimulgus poliocephalus, Kenya.