Sunday, 18 December 2016

Yellow Browed Warblers in Beaumont Park, Plymouth

A female type black redstart and a grey wagtail feeding on the rooftops at Derriford Hospital brightened up my tea break at work on Monday 12th December, as viewed from the staff room window - it's always nice to see black redstarts, their quivering red tails providing a flash of colour on dark winter days, and grey wagtails are pretty smart looking too.

A walk from Mount Batten to Bovisands with my recently retired from the ward friend Jan on December 16th was pleasent and interesting. I've never done this walk before and it gave some lovely and different views of Plymouth Sound. It was very mild and I wished I hadn't worn my winter coat as I soon overheated, this December is yet again unusually warm, not a good sign of the state of the world. I even saw a red admiral butterfly flitting past but the only bird of note was a flyover raven.

Saturday 17th December and I had a walk around Beaumont Park to try and find the yellow browed warblers again. It was sunny and mild and I saw 2 small tortoiseshells flying together and checking each other out, presumably 2 males. A jay calling in the tree tops before flying off was a surpise, the first time I have seen one in the park, and I also found a female type black redstart in the lower branches of a tree before it flew off, only my second park sighting.

I soon found the long tailed tit flock feeding in the tree tops and quickly found a yellow browed warbler with them - the tit flock moved off but the warbler stayed behind, frequenting the trees near the north gate of the park and mostly staying in the higher branches. It called a few times and was then seen chasing off a second yellow browed warbler before resuming its feeding foray. I later refound the second bird feeding in the higher branches of the trees in the centre of the park but I spent most of my time watching the bird by the north gate which was much more showy and vocal. I even managed to get a few rubbishy record shots of it as it continually moved through the tangled branches of the trees but distance and lighting and branches hampered getting a good photo.

 YBW playing Hide and Seek amongst the branches





YBWarbler - My best shot

Also seen were a nuthatch, a coal tit, at least 4 goldcrests, goldfinches and blue and great tits, and the grey squirrels were very tame and inquisitive as they scurried over towards me to see if I had any food for them.

 Young Grey Squirrel with short tail

 Adult Grey Squirrel

Grey Squirrel close up

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