Nightjar Survey Volunteers

Location: Blackdown Hills ANOB, Various reserves
We are looking to recruit a team of Nightjar Survey Volunteers to work alongside staff and volunteers from the AONB, SOS and BTO. Survey volunteers will need to attend a survey training day which will involve running through the theory of the surveys and identification of the Nightjar - with the plan to start surveying through the summer until the end of August.

The Blackdown Hills AONB in partnership with the Forestry Commission (FC), Somerset Ornithological Society (SOS) and the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) are undertaking a scheme to monitor the population of singing male Nightjars within the Blackdown Hills AONB both on FC land and other sites.

Nightjars are nocturnal birds and can be seen ‘hawking’ for food at dawn and dusk, they can be found on heathlands, moorlands, in open woodland with clearings and in recently felled conifer plantations. They are a migrant breeder overwintering in areas such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Nightjars are more often heard but not seen with their distinctive ‘churring’ call.

The recording scheme aims to contribute to long term recording data of Nightjar populations within the Blackdown Hills AONB and across Somerset with the goal of finding out more about the habitats they use and what management work can be undertaken for their benefit. There will be a partner scheme undertaken in the Quantock Hills AONB.

Skills and considerations for this role:

  • Surveys will take place from 8:30pm to approximately 11pm from the beginning of May to the end of August
  • Volunteers will need to be able to walk up to 2 miles over rough terrain. Survey sites may involve climbing over fences and gates where unavoidable
  • Volunteers will need to be able to make their own way to survey sites independantly
  • Volunteers will be expected to work as a team with staff from the AONB, FC, SOS and BTO as well as other volunteers involved in the scheme.
  • An understanding of wildlife surveys, the identification and behaviours of Nightjars would be an advantage (BUT this isn’t essential and full training will be provided!!)
  • Ability to work safely in an outdoor setting - taking responsibility for your welfare

Please get in touch for further details and a full role profile.