Thursday, 26 May 2016

Pied Flys & Cirl Buntings

Our group met in Yarner Wood and while waiting for everyone to arrive popped into the hide conveniently next to car park.   A pair of Mandarin Ducks were feeding outside, though the drake did fly to other end of the pond shortly after.  On the feeders in front of us were a constant stream of Coal, Blue and Great Tits, a Marsh Tit popped in intermittently but never lingered.  A male Great Spotted Woodpecker became a regular as did Nuthatch and Siskin.   Under the feeders Chaffinch picked about and a pair of Grey Wagtail fed along the stream.
Nuthatch Yarner Wood Devon © Nick Hull
Back out in the car park the Siskins were constantly calling and chattering in the tree tops as we set off.  We had Robin, Wren and heard Wood Warbler, though the latter was unseen.  We heard a Pied Flycatcher singing and while looking for him found a pair of Spotted Flycatchers.  It wasn't long before we saw the Pied Flycatcher, our first of many round the reserve, the males in fine song.
Pied Flycatcher Yarner Wood Devon © Nick Hull
Moving on a little further we heard Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler and a few of the group saw a Treecreeper briefly.  Dotted all along our walk were Pied Flycatchers with Robin, Wren, Song Thrush, Jay, Long-tailed Tits and Blackbird seen.  At the Observation Hide the many feeders outside were very busy and we saw Raven fly over but more usual was hearing a Tawny Owl calling.

After lunch we walked up for a short walk on the heathland, as we walked up we passed a noisy brood of Great Spotted Woodpeckers waiting for their parents to return.  Stepping out on to the heath we had beautiful views across the valley we heard several Willow Warblers and Swifts overhead.  A Whitethroat was called but kept low in the bushes whilst a Tree Pipit sang briefly but too distantly for us.  However a Stonechat and Yellowhammer were much more obliging and a couple of Linnets flew by.  As we re-entered the wood we heard a Redstart, a male flew down to the path and gave us stunning views and then female joined him, both busy finding food for their young.  Now on the path back to the car park another brood of Great Spotted Woodpeckers was found and then the Wood Warbler sang.  This time Scott, Nick and I spotted him singing and getting the rest of the group on to him we all had good views before he flew on to sing in another part of his territory.
Great Spotted Woodpecker Yarner Wood Devon © Nick Hull
Our next stop was Labrador Bay overlooking part of Lyme bay and as soon as we left the car park we connected with a party of Cirl Buntings in a field.  Walking on we could hear a few singing and as we reached the end of the path we had a male sitting on a wire fence and a Chiffchaff singing.  Then we could hear two singing males and found one of them sitting out giving good views and first photo opportunity.  A Shelduck flew across the bay and a Kestrel hovered nearby then a Peregrine was seen flying towards before going into a fast stoop.  Jess saw a seal but it disappeared before the rest of us could see it and then we noticed the Gannets plunging into the bay.
Girl Bunting Labrador Bay Devon © Nick Hull
As we moved back to the path a Common Blue butterfly caused us to stop and then a Skylark sang above us.  The Chiffchaff had dropped on to the wire fence and Swallows dashed through and we could still hear the Cirl Buntings and a Red Admiral butterfly fluttered by.  Time to celebrate an amazing day with an ice cream before driving home.

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