Thursday 4 April 2024

April Showers/Rain

Monday 1st April/ Easter Monday was forecasted to be showery but there were blue skies and sunshine when I woke up in the morning and so I headed out to The Plym for a walk. I was feeling better although the Snot City Olympics were still taking place in my sinuses and my lungs felt like they were going to burst when I exerted myself too much but I needed to get out of the house. Needless to say the heavens opened as I stepped off the bus at Marsh Mills but it did eventually clear over and the sun reappeared and there was only one other heavy shower to contend with during my walk.

Blaxton Meadow

It was high tide when I arrived at Blaxton Meadow and from the shelter of the bird hide there were 2 Curlew, 2 Dunlin, 2 Turnstone, at least 14 Snipe, 8 Oystercatcher, 8 Greenshank and Redshanks on view along with a pair of Goosander, 4 Little Egrets and a Grey Heron. The usual Mallard, Shelduck and Canada Geese were present too and amongst the roosting Herring Gulls were 3 Great Black-backed (2 adults), 1 adult Lesser Black-backed, 13 Common (7 adults) and Black-headed Gulls.


A surprise sighting were 2 Collared Doves feeding out on the salt marsh along with 3 Stock Dove and 3 white Feral Doves.

It was quiet around the Park but Chiffchaffs were yammering away and a single Swallow was flying around over the Duck Pond, my first of the year. Also at the Duck Pond were 4 male and a female Mandarin and a Grey Wagtail along with the usual Moorhens. A Green Woodpecker yaffled and showed nicely up in a tree, at least 4 Ring-necked Parakeets were seen, a male Stonechat was on Chelson Meadow where Skylarks were singing away and 2 Buzzards soared together overhead.



A single Peacock was seen with a probable flyby Comma too quick to firmly ID. A Grey Squirrel and 6 Roe Deer were the other non-avian highlights.

Rain was forecasted for the afternoon of Tuesday 2nd April and so I decided to head out to Wembury on the 7am bus for a look about before the rain arrived. I was still snotty and out of puff on exertion but better than the previous day and being out in the fresh air is certainly helping me to shift this lingering cold. With yet more heavy rain having fallen over the past few days the footpaths were horrifically muddy and the ground just feels totally waterlogged underfoot. There were a few brief sunny spells but it was mostly cool, grey and breezy and I was fortunate that the rain didn't arrive until David drove up in the car to meet me at 12pm.

The tide was heading in and along the beach a Little Egret, 21 Oystercatcher and a Shelduck were present with another 3 Shelduck seen flying over heading east.


The usual Gannets were seen offshore along with a distant Sandwich Tern moving east while closer inshore 5 Common Gulls were feeding on the sea (2 adults, 3 1st summers) before they all flew east too. Fulmars were flying around The Mewstone and 2 Canada Geese were roosting on the rocks while a male Mallard flew across the Bay.

A surprise was a Redwing feeding out on the grass at The Point much to the annoyance of nearby Blackbirds which regularly chased it off into the nearby trees.




With reports of Dartford Warblers at Wembury over the Easter weekend I had a search about for them although I wasn't hopeful in the grey, cool conditions. However I quickly found them but they were mobile, flitty and restless, they showed well at times and often perched up in the top of the same bush. I'm not sure if they are new in or have been present for a while although I haven't really been looking for them on my recent visits.

Dartford Warbler

Dartford Warbler

Otherwise the usual birds were seen with the usual Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap also heard singing. Only one Bloody Nosed Beetle was found but I was pleased to see the Sea Kale has survived the winter gales and is beginning to emerge from the sand.

Sea Kale



With the forecast for Wednesday 3rd April being dry until later in the day we switched our plans last minute and headed out to Burrator Reservoir for a morning walk. It was grey and cool with a bit of drizzle but at least it didn't rain.

Despite the weather there was plenty of bird song which made a nice change from my very quiet recent visits with Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Siskin, Mistle Thrush, Green Woodpecker, Goldcrest and Great Spotted Woodpecker all seen and heard along with the usuals.

Out on the Reservoir 3 Cormorant, 2 Great Crested Grebes, a pair of Goosander, Herring Gulls, an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull, 2 adult Great Black-backed Gulls, the white farmyard Greylag Goose and Mallards (all males) were present. The highlight though were 2 Sand Martins buzzing around over the water and chittering away, probably wondering why the hell they left Africa!


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