Monday, 26 January 2015

Yellow Browed Warbler Hide and Seek, River Plym

A few hours free and a sunny day on the 23rd January and so I had another game of hide and seek with the yellow browed warbler near Blagdons Meadow by the River Plym which has been showing for a while now despite the rather frosty weather we are experiencing. The warbler hid, I seeked and  - I lost ! After 2 hours I gave up, having seen some very wary bullfinches in the bushes along with 2 ringed plovers, a common sandpiper and a very energetic little egret chasing after small fish in the nearby Creek.

The yellow browed warbler is frequenting a very difficult area to view, being right by a busy main road, a noisey cement works and a noisey boatyard and along a busy cycle/footpath, covered with some dense vegetation on hilly terrain and with no obvious vantage point to scan from. Being silent it is like looking for a needle in a haystack and it seems to be down to luck to see it.

January 24th and I had planned to travel down to Penzance to look for the reported Pacific diver but I felt too knackered and so headed off to Plymbridge Woods for a walk in the sunshine and crisp air. I got off the bus at Marsh Mills and walked to the Cann Quarry viaduct and back along the Riverside Caravan Park side of the River Plym. It was very muddy in places but I had a very pleasant walk although searching for treecreepers and goosanders drew a blank. Highlights were a flyover raven, at least 2 dippers along the River, 5 male and 4 female Mandarin ducks, a marsh tit feeding on seed at the bird feeding station at Cann Quarry and another seen in a mixed tit flock feeding in the trees, some showy nuthatches and a very smart looking male great spotted woodpecker feeding in a tree against a clear blue sky, looking stunning in the bright sunshine.

 Pair of Mandarin Ducks
 Dipping Dipper
Fungus sp. on Rotten Wood

Heading back home and I decided to have another hide and seek session with the yellow browed warbler, my third game with it and another game I lost - no sight or sound of it in the hour I searched for it. I did see a greenshank on the River at a very low tide and it was interesting to see a mass of smashed cockle shells along the footpath having been dropped on the hard concrete by carrion crows to smash them open.

 Cockle Graveyard, Blagdons Meadow
Smashed Cockles at Blagdons Meadow by the River Plym

I'm bored of playing hide and seek now - but maybe I'll give it one more chance?

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