A juvenile lammergier (a first for the UK) had been found on Dartmoor while I was away on the Isle of Wight last week but was proving to be elusive and mobile. We kept our eyes open for it throughout the day but with no luck - it had decided to head down to Bodmin Moor in Cornwall! Never mind.
It was sunny but breezey and cool as seems to be the theme this spring but we had an excellent day despite this. We started off at Yarner Wood with 3 male and a female mandarin duck showing well from the hide feeding on seeds on the ground dropped from the bird feeders - the female was quite aggressive and regularly chased off the males. Watching the feeders and marsh tit, blue tit, great tit and coal tit were seen along with great spotted woodpecker, nuthatch, siskin and chaffinch.
Male Mandarin Duck
On the heatland we had nice views of a songflighting tree pipit, a male whitethroat, a "cha-cha-cha-ing" redpoll, stonechat and a green woodpecker.
A few butterflies were on the wing - green veined white, a very tatty peacock and male and female brimstones.
A very tatty Peacock Butterfly
Marsh Marigolds, Challacombe Farm
Moving on to Warren House Inn in the car and whinchats and wheatears showed well along the roadside while an unseen cucko called regularly.
Wednesday May 25th and it was off to Bude for the day for a bit of deja vu. Having put up the awning and sorting out the caravan a few weeks ago we had to do it all again - the stitching on the awning had come undone and so everything was packed away and the awning taken down (not by us) for it to be repaired. It was cool but sunny and did warm up as the day went on and eventually it was all sorted out (again).
A quick look at Maer Lake and 2 singing chiffchaffs, a male gadwall, 2 black tailed godwits and 2 shelducks mating were the highlights while at the caravan a songflighting whitethroat, a male bullfinch and 2 adult robins feeding a fledgling were seen.
A large white and a male orange tip were seen and there were 3 moths in the toilet block - a pale tussock and 2 white ermine - but with new LED lights being installed in the toilet blocks I guess I will be seeing less moths in them in the future.