Our first COVID free clients enjoyed a day long trip in Devon on 9th July! Tim and Hannah are two of our best clients and this is their third outing with us! We met early at Yarner Woods, East Dartmoor where we usually have our Spring visit in mid-may. With many of the specialist woodland species already finished breeding and the woodlands heavy with greenery, Yarner can be hard work at this time of year, but we persevered and caught up with a tit flock that included Tree-creeper, Nuthatch, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Marsh, Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits. There were plenty of Siskins throughout the woods and some of the adult males looked amazing in full breeding plumage. Other species included Crossbill (heard but not seen), Blackbird, Song Thrush, Spotted Flycatcher, Yellowhammer, Swift, Raven, Stonechat, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Blackcap.
After lunch we headed up the M5 and over the river to RSPB Bowling Green Marsh. This reserve never fails to produce waders and wildfowl amongst other species. Parking was difficult, as despite the hides being closed, the area was still busy with tourists. The main reserve held good numbers of summer plumaged Black-tailed Godwits, Redshanks, Lapwings, Curlew and Whimbrel. The open water had Wigeon, Teal, Mallard, Canada Goose, Little Egret and Cormorant. Two Stock Doves showed well in the adjacent field and we manged Kingfisher, Dunlin, Oystercatcher, Shelduck, Reed Warbler and Blackcap from the platform overlooking the estuary and two Sandwich Tern and an adult Med Gull were on the raft off Topsham.
In all we managed to see and hear 68 species, which is pretty good for July! The new mini-bus was excellent and we hope to see Tim and Hannah in Cornwall in December for our West Cornwall in Winter Tour!
If you want to experience the above tour during the winter, we will be returning in November for a full day visiting Yarner to witness the feeding winter species at close range and more wildfowl and waders at Bowling Green Marsh. See link HERE for more details and to book.