Thursday 2 March 2023

Deja Vu River Plym Walk

Despite Wednesday 1st March being the first day of meteorological Spring it was grey and cold as I headed out to The Plym for a morning walk on the incoming tide. I started at Marsh Mills and finished at Saltram House where I met David for lunch before we walked back to Sainsburys to do some shopping and then drove home. It really was a Deja Vu walk though with all the usuals seen but a very enjoyable walk none the less. 

I was very pleased to finally see my first Green Woodpecker of the year with a single bird flying over while another bird was heard yaffling nearby, I've heard them in various places so far this year but it was nice to finally see one.

The Duck Pond was a hive of activity with Mallards seen mating while the female Red-crested Pochard and 19 Mandarin Duck (11 males, 8 females) watched nearby and 17 Moorhens bickered and fought together.

Red-crested Pochard

Red-crested Pochard

Mandarin Duck and Red-crested Pochard 

Mandarin Duck

Mandarin Duck

I spent a bit of time sat on the bench in the Wet Wood again, there was as expected no sign of the Water Rail but I did have some nice views of a Treecreeper. At least 5 noisy Ring-necked Parakeets were flying around overhead while a Redwing skulked in the trees. A nice surprise were 2 Firecrest feeding in the Ivy covered trees, both were very active and mobile but one of them did show very well before disappearing off into cover.


Along the river there were 6 Goosander (1 male, 5 female) with another female seen fishing in the small pool of water by the sluice gates on Blaxton Meadow. A Common Sandpiper, 2 Grey Wagtail, a Little Grebe, a Mute Swan, 5 adult Lesser Black-backed Gull and 2 Great Black-backed Gull were also seen and unusually there were 4 Snipe feeding on the mud by the gas pipe as the tide came in. 

It was a low high tide and Blaxton Meadow didn't flood but waders were still roosting there and amongst the Curlew, Redshank and Dunlin were 3 Oystercatcher, a Greenshank and the wintering Grey Plover. Also present were 48 Wigeon (23 males, 25 females) which is my highest count here this winter along with a Kingfisher and a Grey Heron.

It was quiet on Chelson Meadow but 8 Roe Deer were present out on the grassy hill and 5 Bullfinch (2 male, 3 female) were feeding in the Sloe bushes. 2 pairs of Rook were nest building in the nearby wood, there used to be a small Rookery here which disappeared when their nesting tree blew over a few years ago so it's nice to see them returning.

All in all a very interesting walk with some nice sightings but all a bit samey, hopefully things will start to change and birds will begin to move in the next few weeks as Spring marches on.

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