It's always a good day when you learn something new about your favourite bird species. This month I've had a few nights observing them in my home town and I was fortunate to observe new behaviour too. Just as it was getting too dark to photograph, a male started to court a perched female on the ground. The display started with wing flapping while perched and tail wagging, she seemed to wag her tail in his face, as if to say she's ready, hurry up and get on with it. What came after that was something I've never seen before, as the male was 'stone hopping' and flying over her head back and forth from a pile of rocks. The only time I've seen this type of behaviour is in Birds of Paradise in the Amazon rainforest! It was incredible to watch what seemed like a very complex display, something they would have to perform as early as possible before it got too dark. That said, they do have incredible eye site, how else would they manage to catch flying moths in complete darkness?!.
Big thanks to Craig Constance for sharing this twitter post with me, as Jack Potter posted a fantastic close up image of the Nightjar's claw-comb! Yes! A claw that has a built in comb, used to maintain their stiff whiskers that help them direct Moths into their mouth while flying. It's reasons like this that I love being an amateur naturalist as there's so much more to learn which keeps fuelling what is going to be a life long passion. What an incredible species!