Sunday, 30 April 2017

Yarner Wood Wood Warbler

Saturday 29th April and it was off to Yarner Wood with Mavis for the Plymouth RSPB field trip on what was a mostly cloudy and breezey and cold morning. I am not a fan of bird group field trips (other than coach trips) but I wasn't going to turn down a lift to Yarner Wood and the walk and company were quite pleasent with some good bird sightings. It was also nice that some members of the group got to see some new birds too.

The car park at Yarner Wood was packed with cars but devoid of bird song in the chilly conditions although siskins feeding on the bird seed feeders in front of the hide were mobile and flighty and vocal. The water level in the pond  in front of the hide was very low but we had good views of a grey wagtail, 4 male mandarin duck and a pair of mallards while we watched coal tit, blue tit, great tit, marsh tit, chaffinch and nuthatch on the feeders along with the siskins.


Walking up the main path from the car park and a redstart was briefly heard singing along with a pied flycatcher and a wood warbler. We couldn't find the redstart but eventually I found the pied flycatcher high in the trees before it flew off while a treecreeper provided a distraction feeding on a  nearby tree trunk. The wood warbler continued to constantly sing and eventually we managed to get some excellent views of a very confiding but mobile and unringed bird with a second bird briefly heard singing nearby.

 Wood Warbler

 Wood Warbler

 Wood Warbler

Wood Warbler

A walk up to the heath meant full exposure to the chilly wind but we managed to see 2 songflighting tree pipits, a pair of stonechat, linnets, willow warblers and swallows. A hobby high overhead was a good find but all too brief as it dashed off but later 2 birds were seen together very high overhead before they moved off out of sight.

Back in the woods and we managed to get some great views of 2 singing male redstarts along with a pair of pied flycatchers (I only managed to see the female), a male blackcap and a female great spotted woodpecker.


Other birds seen were raven, chiffchaff, a male bullfinch, buzzards, woodpigeon, wren, robin and blackbird and at the end of the walk as we ate lunch in the car we watched a male pied flycatcher in the holly bushes right in front of us, a good end to a pleasent morning.

Heading home over Dartmoor and we had a quick stop at Challacombe Farm where a very red faced male redpoll singing and songflighting and a male redstart flitting about in the trees were the highlights with a pair of wheatear, house martins, swallows, mistle thrush, a grey wagtail and house sparrows also seen.

While waiting at Yelverton for the bus home to Plymouth I found a recently squashed oil beetle on the footpath, a sad sight, but nearby I found another unsquashed one which I photographed and moved off into the nearby vegetation out of harms way, a nice end to the day.

 Oil Beetle

Oil Beetle

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