A heady mix! Last night was the annual Nightjar survey on Chobham Common and though not perfect weather, cool and windy, I am struck again with the need to tell anybody who hasn’t gone for a walk to listen to Nightjars (and hopefully see them) that they are missing one of those special experiences that Surrey has hidden up its sleeve. If you have been in years past GO AGAIN! It can be an evening of wonder and an almost mystical experience . Don’t spoil the experience by looking and listening on the internet either go out with an organised group with SWT or local RSPB or be adventurous and look at a map of a heathland site like Chobham Common and go for a walk to be out in the middle of a heath by sunset when the birds usually start to sing (moot point calling it singing!). If last night was anything to go by it does look like Nightjars numbers are fairly stable unlike some of the other birds that used to be common on Surrey Heaths, Linnets, Yellow Hammer, Willow Warblers, Tree Pipits………..the list is becoming alarmingly long.
I remain angry and bewildered with prospect of car park charging in most of the car parks and not a little confused with some of the intentions. No overnight car parking, well that has always been technically a prohibition, but how does that become you cannot park after 9.00pm and before 7.00am? Nightjar watchers and dog walkers are just a few who look like they are going to be unnecessarily penalised. Over complicated systems involving permits wont solve what is a bad idea.