Looking for birds? Find a Nightjar

As we all know, finding birds in August can be a bit of a challenge. So here’s another: try your skills at finding cryptic species and help researchers studying camouflage. Scientists at Exeter are using computer games to look at animal perception as part of a wider programme looking camouflage and how species avoid predation. Play Where is that Nightjar and join in. My best score was 1.2 seconds, but for one the game timed out!

Have fun!

Coombe Hill Bird Hide

Coombe Hill Hide - before

Photo: Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust

Coombe Hill Hide - after

Photo: Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust

Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust’s hide at Coombe Hill was damaged by floods earlier this year, when the whole structure was lifted off its base by the rising waters. Even the long boardwalk that leads to the hide was wrecked.

Coombe Boardwalk - after

Photo: Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust

This is an important site for winter wildfowl and breeding Curlew, Redshank and Lapwing.

If you’ve never been, the map ref is SO887272. It’s down the lane at the traffic lights by the Swan Inn.

The GWT have launched an appeal for funds to repair the hide before the winter floods (and the flocks of winter wildfowl) arrive. Grundons Waste Management, the original sponsor, has already pledged £5000. Adding this to the insurers’ contribution there is still a shortfall of several thousand pounds.

If you would like to help repair this important site you can find details and a donation form on the GWT website.

Rutland Bird Fair, 16-18 August

Where is this?

Birding the Cotswolds, but where exactly?

If you’re off to the Rutland Bird Fair, drop in to the Art Marquee and say hello to Jackie Garner, the wildlife artist from Stroud. She has very kindly produced several original works included in ‘The Birds of Gloucestershire’, and you can see some of them on her stand (no. 50).

She is also showcasing a sample of the impressive photos used in the book – bird, landscape, aerial and even satellite. Any guesses as to where the sample photo above is? Clue: it’s a good spot for migrants.