A few gannets were seen offshore and whitethroats and a yellowhammer were heard on the cliff slopes. Despite the weather a speckled yellow was flitting over the vegetation along with a common carpet and we also found a very small cricket nymph.
With Spring 2019 almost at an end and the only usual summer migrant I have yet to see being spotted flycatcher I headed off to Saltram Park in Plymouth for a look around following reports of birds being seen there. I have never seen one in the Plymouth area before other than 1 at Plymbridge Woods many years ago but which was almost at Bickleigh so not technically Plymouth, but SaltramPark is a big place with lots of trees and so I asked local birder Pete for some advice as to where to look.
I caught the bus to Marsh Mills and walked along the River Plym to Saltram Park, seeing an out of place collared dove out on the mudflats along the way. More usual bird sightings on the estuary were an oystercatcher managing to find lots of worms out of the mud, 2 shelduck, an adult lesser black-backed gull and 2 great black-backed gulls amongst the herring gulls, a pair of Canada geese with 5 fluffy goslings and 3 male and a female mallard flying over, while on Blaxton Meadow 9 shelduck and 2 little egret were seen.
Canada Geese with Goslings
I stopped off at Blagdons Meadow on the journey home, the site is extremely dry from the lack of any recent rain, but I did find southern marsh orchids coming into flower and early purple orchids going over including a white form, and common blues and burnet companions were flitting about in the grass with a female sparrowhawk soaring overhead the only bird of note.
Southern Marsh Orchid