'Three Churs & a clap'

On the evening of the 5th June I went along for the 'Three Churrs & a Clap' event; it was great! Together with 16 other visitors, plus members of staff and volunteers, we were gathered together to, hopefully, hear and possibly see Nightjars. For me this was quite exciting as the last time I encountered Nightjars was some twenty-odd years ago. We started the evening with a look at a large selection of live moths that had been kept back from a survey trap. This in itself was fascinating; I learnt more about moths in twenty minutes than I ever had before! This was followed by a walk through the treeline around the recently formed heathland area, where we encountered some Pipistrelle and other bat species. As the light faded, we heard the 'churring' of a male Nightjar. By the time we made it to the 'barrow' overlooking the heathland, there were three vocalising. Then it went quiet for a while until, suddenly, there was one in the trees right behind us. It was beautiful to listen too, but not visible. Then a pair flew right over us down to the heath. The guides pointed out their flight call, which was all around us, then one could be seen silhouetted on a branch about 30m away. It was 'churring' really loudly and we were all mesmerised by this. Finally, it took off and flew within 10m of us, calling and 'wing-slapping'. A fantastic end to a brilliant night. As a regular (daytime) visitor to Pulborough RSPB, I was fascinated to see the site in a completely different context. Many thanks to the staff and volunteers, with their friendliness and knowledge they made an 'interesting' visit into a brilliant one. It was great.


My photos are on Flickr

  • Sounds great. I have been to PB on three occasions now and the staff are all very helpful and that goes for the café staff too. Always a pleasure.

    Unicum arbustum haud alit duos erithacos

    (One bush does not shelter two Robins)

    Zenodotus (3rd Century B.C.)


  • Hi Rob

    Really good to hear that you enjoyed our 'Three Churrs and a Cap!' nightjar event.

    I think that whenever we do evening events, it is the moths that surprise people the most - there is so much variety in shape, size and colour. When I 'unpacked' the moth trap in the morning I was so pleased to find the hawkmoths and the buff tip - the most perfect example of camouflage that I've seen!

    Glad that the nightjars performed - they are divas and like to keep you waiting!

    Fantastic - thanks for letting us know.