An annual summer staple of birding in the West Midlands is a nocturnal visit to Cannock Chase. This usually yields stuff like Nightjar and Woodcock, although you have to be careful - it can be a little hairy up there of an evening, you may bump into ex-footballers and other social degenerates who enjoy loitering in car parks.
Making the most of a rare dry and still evening I headed up the Chase with Martyn. We were early so we had a saunter down to Stepping Stones to see if Pied Flycatchers were around. We could not find any but we did come across a very vocal and mobile Redstart. Also 2 Green Woodpecker and flocking Long-tailed Tits including many juvs by Coppice Hill car park.
Moving on to an area with a reputation for Nightjar, we got into position way before dusk. Whilst waiting we had a Hobby and Kestrel over and warblers such as Willow Warbler, Garden Warbler and Whitethroat gave occasional bursts of song.
Our first churring Nightjar was heard at a surprising 9:15pm. It was of course still almost fully light so we still had a while to go before seeing one. Eventually they appeared around the 10.00pm mark. From then until it got too dark to see, we observed at least 3 separate birds, two of them males. All birds were fairly active and showed in flight off and on. The spine-tingling sound of churring on the Chase is something not to be missed. Also a Woodcock came over a couple of times calling.
Sorry no images, it was a bit dark.