British wildlife recordings

Caprimulgus europaeus : European Nightjar - Caprimulgidae

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  • Shelf mark

    W1CDR0001526 BD23

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  • Recording date


  • Recording locations

    Frensham Great Pond, Surrey: OS Grid Reference(484500,140500)

  • Recordist

    Williams, Aubrey John

  • Species

    Nightjar, Caprimulgus europaeus

  • Description

    Advertising and flight calls produced by a male nightjar on Frensham Common, Surrey. Nightjars begin arriving throughout much of Britain during April, having spent the winter months in Africa. The appearance of these nocturnal birds can be described as somewhere between a kestrel and a cuckoo, with their long tails, brown mottled plumage and sharp features. They require bare ground on which to nest and so are commonly found on heathland, moors, large commons and open woodland. The flight call consists of a loud ‘coo-ick’, while the undulating churring song is best heard at dusk during the summer months. Loss of suitable habitat has resulted in nightjars becoming increasingly rare and at present they are considered a Red List species.

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