Nightjar habitat

Evening Walk around Stover Park

Tonight I took a stroll around Stover Park and wow what a brilliant evening of amazing wildlife. I often go for walks like this, with no real expectations apart from a ‘I’ll see what I see’ attitude, and on occasion you get rewarded with a spectacular evening like this one.

Arriving around 8pm I set off for a walk around the lake to have a quick look for dragonflies and birds. The lake is remarkably quiet at this time of year with nothing much more than a few mallard, coots (with young), mute swan (family of 5 incl. adults) and the odd gull. I’d obviously arrived too late for much dragonfly action as all I managed to pick up was a few Common Blue, Azure and Black-tailed damsels. Not a large dragonfly to be seen!


Glow worm

As the light faded I continued round towards the heathland path, passing the tall pines where I regularly find the Siskins and as usual they were up there calling away to one another. Walking underneath the pylons at around 9.30pm I got my first ‘chur’ from the darkness – Nightjar! I decided to wander around to see how many I could count totally around 4 males including one which sat beautifully in front of me on a perch.

As I made my way back towards the car to head home, a small light low down in the corner of my eye captured my attention. I couldn’t believe it, it was a lone Glow Worm! Sat on the lead of a Rhododendron was this little bug of light, glowing for all its worth in amongst the darkness. I lay down to get a good angle to take a picture as this was the first one I’ve found on this site so I wanted a record shot. As shuffled myself into position I heard a rather loud rustling sound. I remained still so I could focus in and locate the source of the disturbance. To my utter shock it was right in front of me!


Grass snake

I bolted to my feet as fast as I could, turning on my phone torch as quick as I could, and there not a meter from where I was laying, was a fully grown adult Grass Snake! Double shock! Double excitement! I quickly took a photo as it slinked away back into the undergrowth but I couldn’t help thinking; had I disturbed it from hunting down this glow worm?! Maybe I wasn’t the only one attracted to its light.

I returned to the car with a huge grin on my face – what a night of unexpected wildlife thrills and surprises!

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