Spotted Nightjar

Spotted Nightjar

Spotted Nightjar

Yesterday I visited the Pangarinda Arboretum at Wellington East. This arboretum is about 30km south of Murray Bridge South Australia (or about 90km SE of Adelaide). For the last four weeks a single Spotted Nightjar has been roosting in the one location within the arboretum. It has been observed close up by quite a few people in that time.

Yesterday we were able to approach to within 2 metres to take photos without disturbing the bird. It was amazing to observe the cryptic markings on the feathers making it very hard to see as it roosted in a little hollow it had made next to several tufts of grass. Several days ago one of the volunteers received a shock when he disturbed the bird while weeding around some of the plants growing there. The bird puffed itself up and hissed at him. He thought he was about to be attacked by some strange reptilian creature!

This is one species that I had dismissed as being able to get a good close up photo of. One should never say never.

This post updated on 12th October 2015.

Spotted Nightjar

Spotted Nightjar


8 Responses to “Spotted Nightjar”

  1. […] My list could go on. One species I’d only had fleeting views of – and then only in the headlights of the car at speed at night – is the Spotted Nightjar. A few weeks ago I found (with some help from a friend) a single Spotted Nightjar roosting on the ground at the Pangarinda Arboretum (Click here for the full story). Now that I have the photo gallery up and running I can post one of many photos taken at the time. […]

  2. brodie barth says:

    awsome pictures dude

  3. lynne says:

    I have found a spotted nightjar, very distressed with the 48oC heat we have experienced. I have drip fed him water and would like to know what to feed him until he is well and the weather has subsided, then I can let him go. He does not appear injured. I presume he is nocturnal

  4. rod trinca says:

    Just letting you know that I found the remains of a spotted Nightjar in Norwood, Adelaide.

    It had the most beautiful spotted (circles of light sandy brown) against black feather. It had rather large white flashes or bands on its wings.

    I took it to the South Australian State Museum, where it was recorded and placed in storage by Linda Builth. It will be examined later by their resident Ornithologist.

    From what we could ascertain, it was probably a juvenile.

    First one I have seen in so close to the City of Adelaide.



    • Trevor says:

      Thanks for your comments, Rod. Sorry about the delay in replying – I’ve just returned from a fabulous 7 weeks touring Ethiopia, Morocco and Spain. Life back home has been frantic ever since. Stay tuned for plenty of non-Australian birds in the coming weeks and months.

      Spotted Nightjars are wonderful birds and a species not often observed , even by experienced birders. Thanks for taking the specimen to the museum – good thinking. To my knowledge it has rarely been recorded in the metropolitan area; it is more commonly seen east of the ranges in rural areas.

  5. Rod says:

    Thanks for getting back to me Trevor.

    Linda Builth was quite excited by the find.

    To her knowledge its one of the few she had ever seen in the local suburbs and particularly so close to the city. We had a nice chat & cup of tea while discussing how it came to be in Adelaide.

    Our conclusion was that it may possibly have been blown over the ranges by the combination of strong northerly winds we had about a month ago.

    Thanks for your feedback too Trevor.


  6. Hi I am sorry to intervene, but I wondered if Rod Trinca could contact me… I don’t have his contact details. Thanks, my details are on my website.
    Meredith Russell.

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