Monday, 24 April 2017

Last Minute

At the last minute I decided to have a weekend away so a quick look on the net and I booked a night's B & B in Churston in Devon.

I arrived an hour early to book in so I nipped down to Broadsands to have a look at the Cirl Buntings. However the car park had a lot more beach huts there than normal and right in front of the place where seed is dropped for the birds. Also a learner driver was doing laps around the car park. Not a good start and no Cirl's were seen. I walked up onto the cliff but it was very quiet out in the bay as well.

I then booked in and walked down into Brixham through some back lanes, fields and woodland. Birdlife was quiet but did have a few butterflies, loads of Orange Tips, Brimstone, Speckled Woods, Holly Blue, Peacock and Small Tortiseshell.

First port of call was obviously to have fish and chips and very nice they were too. The tame turnstones around the harbour gave good entertainment has I ate a Blackcurrant and Clotted Cream ice cream (Mike you really have to try that one). Thinking after all that food I should do some walking so I went around the harbour and right out to the end of the breakwater. Only thing of note were two Greater Black Backed Gulls literally trying to kill each other, how any of them flew away was amazing it was so vicious.

Eating breakfast the next morning I looked out of the window where I saw three Wheatears worming with the local Starlings on the local playing field.

I then went up to Berry Head. The only other time I had been there was with Rob to see the female Sardinian Warbler which must have been 9 or 10 years ago. The weather was too good for migrants and out to sea there were plenty of Fulmars and Auks. I did however pick up a new butterfly for the year a Wall Brown.

Next stop was Labrador Bay, a new site for me and I picked up 3 Cirl Buntings fairly quickly, not even a year tick !!!

I then drove to Cockwood but could not find the resident Slav. Grebe. A quick walk around the front at Dawlish also produced nothing. The weather had turned quite chilly by now so a hot meal was in order. The Ship Inn at Cockwood done the goods with a fantastic Sunday roast.

Driving back home the weather turned better has I got to Somerset so I decided to call into Shapwick. Has I opened the door of the car a Cuckoo called to my right but I could not locate it. I walked down towards Ham Wall but the reserve seemed quiet. I continued down to the next viewing platform where things started to pick up. I think it was just that right time of the evening where the birds started singing again. Reed Warbler was my first year tick, Bitterns started to boom around 7 in all, two more Cuckoo's were heard, Sedge Warblers were calling, lots of Blackcaps were around and a few Great White Egrets in flight. 5 March Harriers were observed and best of all after searching through the Teal I managed to find a stunning drake Garganey. Also a pair of Pochard flew past calling, what an unusual sound which I have never heard before.

I must admit this was the best evening's birding I have had for ages, the light was great, really peaceful with hardly any people around and of course some fantastic birds.

1 comment:

  1. You obviously had a good time of it. It is a real treat when an unscheduled stop leads to such a purple patch of birding. Still haven't even heard a cuckoo!