Wednesday 20 June 2012

Whinchats galore on Dartmoor, 17th June 2012

Improved weather so I had a walk on Dartmoor to try and see more of the "Moor" birds. Most obvious bird on the walk were whinchats, they seemed to be everywhere, both male and female, with some of the males heard singing.

Whinchat - male

Whinchat - male

3 cuckoos were heard calling with 1 bird seen flying low over the bracken covered slope being chased by a meadow pipit. At least 4 tree pipits were seen songflighting and 2 spotted flycatchers showed very well catching flies from a barbed wire fence. A redpoll "cha-cha-cha-d" overhead before landing in a tree where I managed a really good view of it, a very pretty bird and one I rarely see. A male redstart was a very handsome find and a green woodpecker was heard yaffling. Willow warblers were also very obvious, both seen and heard, and including quite a few fledglings.

Spotted Flycatcher

Small heath, a very tatty looking and my first of the year green hairstreak, a female beautiful demoiselle and a brown silver line were also on the wing. Lots of garden chafers were flying around with quite a few seen mating and a few dung beetles were seen feeding on cow pats and sheep droppings.

Green Hairstreak

Dung Beetle Sp.

Plant wise I had excellent finds in my first Dartmoor sundew, having only seen sundew in Shetland before, and a new orchid in the form of some heath spotted orchids flowering in a very boggy area where I found the sundew. Cotton grass was also "flowering".


Heath Spotted Orchid

Cotton Grass

And so I had a very enjoyable walk with occasional sunny spells and I managed to catch up with most of the birds I had hoped to see.

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