Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A sunny day in Devon

When I received my work schedule on Friday, and saw that I was going to be down in Plymouth on Monday 14th April, I did some planning on birding sites to visit if I finished the call early. I gathered info on Harford Moor, reached from Ivybridge, hoping for Ring Ouzel and Wheatear. The Parke estate near Bovey Tracey for Dipper, RSPB reserve Labrador Bay for Cirl Bunting and then Beer just I had spent some summers camping there with 1st Ashford (Middx) VSU, many years ago.
I did finish my work early, so set of to Harford Moor, I parked up and a Raven flew over calling.

I gathered up my birding kit, food and water and set off to the reservoir, Skylark and Meadow pipit seen on the way. A walk around this small reservoir added Woodpigeon, Grey Wagtail, Wren, Robin, Mistle thrush, Goldcrest, Great tit, Jay, Magpie, Chaffinch and Goldfinch.

I then headed up hill to Hangershell Rock adding a Swallow flying through, view looking back at reservoir.

As I approached Hangershell Rock I saw two male Wheartears.

One of the stunning views from Harford Moor,

and on the way down to car I added Buzzard, Stonechat and Linnet. Then of to the Parke estate to look for a Dipper.

I arrived at Parke to a very full car park, I made my way down to the river and followed to path looking for any dipper, there were rocks in the river that were being used to perch on as they had poo on them, a good sign. The path was busy with vistors to Parke some with dogs, I noted Great spotted woodpecker, Blackbird, Song thrush, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Blue tit and Nuthatch for the days list, but no dipper. I reached a road bridge that went over the river, and crossed over and then went into a field to continue following the river away from the crowds. I reached the end of the field where the river turned and I looked upstream and on a rock was a Dipper preening.


With dipper in the bag I moved on to the RSPB reserve at Labrador bay, and as I made my way to the car park ticket machine I could hear a male Cirl Bunting singing.

 I walked through the kissing gate and over to the hedge where the Cirl bunting was singing from, as I approached he flew out, but landed on top of some bramble and continued to sing giving me great views and a record shot.

Also added Pheasant, Herring gull, Green woodpecker and Carrion crow to the days list. Then I made my way to Beer, just to have a look really as it had been many years since my last visit there. It looked like I remembered it, I walked down to the beach,

and then up to Beer head, added Fulmar to the year list, and Cormorant, Shag, Great black-backed gull, feral pigeon, Willow warbler, Jackdaw and Greenfinch to the days list of 40.

2014 Year List = 159

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