Sunday, 15 May 2011

Spring Dartmoor Day Heaven 11th May 2011

Today was my yearly Spring trip on Dartmoor with Mavis and Mike and after being picked up from the bus stop at Yelverton we headed off to Bennets Cross near Warren House Inn to start our walk.

2 grasshopper warblers were heard reeling for brief periods and distantly as we headed off down the valley and also heard were 1 sedge warbler, 1 chiffchaff, 1 garden warbler and 1 blackcap. 2 male whitethroats were seen and a further 1 heard and willow warblers seemed to be everywhere. A raven and a stock dove flew over and a great spotted woodpecker was heard in Sousssons plantation.

Tree pipits were songflighting and a meadow pipit was seen and a skylark heard. A smart male reed bunting was singing in a tree by the stream and a pair of whinchats were seen with a further 4 males seen too. 2 cuckoos were seen and heard, being mobbed in flight and when perched in trees by attendent small birds. A male and female stonechat were seen seperately.

Cottongrass was seen growing along the stream but I forgot to take a photo of it and lousewort was also seen.

Challacombe Farm was productive with a lovely spotted flycatcher showing well perched in a beech tree and was watched being chased off by a singing and rather indignant male redstart which showed equally as well. Another male reed bunting was seen and 1 or 2 cuckoos were heard, 2 whinchats were busily singing away and a female wheatear was seen perched on a fence post, our only wheatear of the day. A marsh tit was a surprise find and a house martin was seen with the swallows overhead. A pretty yellow flower was seen growing near the stream and on checking my book it turns out to be monkeyflower, a North American species naturalised to the UK.


Lunch was had at the Warren House Inn, home made rabbit pie which was delicious. The pub seems to have changed hands with new bar and serving staff and the pie was in an individual  bowl rather than a piece cut from a large pie but it tasted as good as it usually does.

The afternoon was spent walking around the Cuckoo Rock area at Burrator reservoir. A tree pipit and a cuckoo were heard and a male pied flyctcher was seen for brief periods only singing in trees around a wooded area with lots of nest boxes. 2 male redstarts were seen singing with a possible third bird being present and a green woodpecker was seen briefly as it yaffled away. A nice silver ground carpet  moth was disturbed from some nettles.

Silver Ground Carpet Moth

The moors were looking especially beautiful today, I don't know if it was the light or the fact that I haven't seen the moors in Spring growth yet this year but it was amazing to see, everything looked so green and lush and vigorous, a real uplift to the spirit. It had been a very good day indeed, quite heavenly.

No comments:

Post a Comment