Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Nightjar Survey, Year Two

I had to go back and read my blog about last year's survey http://lindafink.blogspot.com/2013/06/nightjar-survey.html to find out we signed up for three years. Also, I discovered that last year the time periods to do the survey were different than this year's. I suppose they change according to full moon times. I had actually forgotten all about this survey until I saw some posts on our local birding listserve that people were seeing nighthawks. We have not had any at our farm yet, but then, we don't usually until later in the summer.

Dutifully, I went to the Nightjar survey website http://www.nightjars.org/ and learned that our time slot was almost up. Since it was a full moon night, I suggested to Johnny we do it that night. Since he had spent all day loading and unloading fencing material from Oregon Wildlife  (previous Fence Project blog), he was tired. But as we looked at the calendar we realized this night was actually our only choice. Johnny was leaving the next day for a week in Calif. with those kids and grandkids. When he returned, our time slot was over. I suspected I was coming down with the cold he was almost over, but I took ColdEaze and bundled up. It was a warm night. At least, it started out that way.

We headed out at 9:30 p.m. and reached our first stop at 10. As I stood outside the car for six minutes at each of the ten stops, it got colder and windier. I never heard a Nighthawk or Great Horned Owl or any other bird. And I only heard one dog barking. But the moon was lovely and bright, so bright I could take photos at each stop.

Here they are:

Stop 1
Stop 2
Stop 3
Stop 4
Stop 5
Stop 6

Stop 7
Stop 8
Stop 9
Stop 10

This survey has turned out to be even crazier than our Black Swift Survey. I'll be glad when our three year commitment has ended. That cold night gave me Johnny's cold plus a sinus infection. And no Nighthawks.


  1. You birders are a dedicated bunch.

    1. Not dedicated enough, I guess, because I've decided to quit the Nightjar survey. It begins half an hour after sunset while Nighthawks are only flying at and before dusk. Plus Nighthawks in Western Oregon do not appear regularly until the middle of June, after the survey has ended. I hear and/or see a Common Nighthawk over our farm almost every night now that the survey period is over. Obviously, the survey was designed for eastern species of Nightjars that are out earlier in the summer and later at night.