Thursday 15 September 2022

River Plym Dipper and River Tavy Double Dip

Saturday 10th September and after sorting out the back yard moth box I headed out to Marsh Mills on the 07:15hrs bus for a Plym and Saltram walk. It was a bright and sunny morning and quite warm considering the early hour but there was a distinctive whiff of Autumn in the air. 

Things started off very well with a Kingfisher and a Grey Wagtail seen as I began my walk downriver from Long Bridge. Even better was a Dipper drifting down the river on a floating log, my first for the Plym this year and a very bizarre sight. 

The tide was high and on Blaxton Meadow there were 13 Greenshank, 6 Common Sandpiper, 4 Dunlin and 2 Oystercatcher with Redshank, Curlew and 10 very smart looking Bar-tailed Godwit.


Little Egret

A Small Heath, a Red Admiral, 4 Roe Deer, a Green Woodpecker, a Kestrel, 2 Whitethroat, an immature male Bullfinch, Swallows and House Martins were also of note along my walk before I headed home. 

A report of a Roller at Bere Ferrers last weekend was interesting but details were very sparse and further reports were virtually non-existent until it finally reappeared on Friday 9th September. The next morning it gave itself up beautifully and on arriving home from my Plym walk my Twitter feed was full of photos and videos of it and so we headed off on the train to Bere Ferrers for a look. 

We caught the 12:24 train and arrived at Bere Ferrers around 25 minutes later. As expected there were lots of birders present but the Roller hadn't been seen since around 10am and by the time we left to catch the 15:40 train back to Plymouth we hadn't seen it either! 

It was a nice trip anyway, somewhere we haven't visited before and I had an enjoyable time chatting to the birders present while scanning the countryside for the elusive Roller. Unfortunately another big fat dip but such is life at times. 

I had to work the following day and the Roller again showed very well in the morning before becoming more elusive in the afternoon and I also had to work on the Monday but the Roller was only reported by a local non-birder that day. I decided to try again for it on Tuesday 13th September but the weather had changed and it was cool, breezy and showery and after 5 hours of searching I gave up and headed home - a big fat double dip.

Roller-less Allotment, Bere Ferrers

However I did enjoy my wander around Bere Ferrers again while dodging the rain showers with the highlight being sightings of 2 Ospreys, 1 distantly flying over the trees heading towards the Tamar and 1 fishing along the Tavy where it caught a large fish before heading off into the trees to eat it. I had some great scope views of it and it was great to see it fly off with its fish and shake its feathers dry in flight a few times before it disappeared from view. 

I also saw Swallows and House Martins overhead with a nest under the eaves of a house in the village still containing noisy young House Martins being fed by their parents. Raven and Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk were also noted overhead while along the Tavy on the dropping tide the only wader seen was a Common Sandpiper.

Before heading out to Bere Ferrers that morning I had gone through the backyard moth box at first light. The forecast had been for the rain to arrive at dawn and when I awoke before day break it was indeed dry. However while I waited for the light to improve it started to rain and so it was a bit of a dash to get the box sorted out before it got too wet but I was very pleased to find my first Large Ranunculus of the year amongst the usual moths, a beautifully understated moth and its appearance signifying that autumn is here and my backyard mothing year is coming to a close. 

Large Ranunculus

Willow Beauty

Mullein Wave

No comments:

Post a Comment