Saturday 8 May 2021

A day on Dartmoor. Thurs 6th May 2021.

 Another cold day in the scheme of things for early May. We've been having some great clear and sunny days but with a bitterly cold North or north westerly wind and often hard frosts.

All of this combines to make all the insect life very late and many of the migrants are struggling to find enough to eat, especially as they are eager to start egg laying.

Our first stop was to Challacombe Farm where there were cuckoos calling from several directions. We also saw redstarts and a singing Garden Warbler. Also had Blackcap & Treecreeper with a Marsh Tit in a stone wall the same place as when we were last there 2 years ago.


We then moved across the moor toward Bovey Tracy to visit Yarner Wood. You now need to park at Trendlebere Downs as they have stopped you parking at the lower bit of the woods.

Fortunately there was Tree Pipit displaying next to where we parked and just across the road was a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker nest. This was at the top of a very high tree, probably about 50 feet so the birds weren't at all concerned with us looking up at them.

My pics are only record shots due to the distance and awful angle but it was still good to see these birds that are such a rarity here in Cornwall.

Lesser spotted Woodpecker

Lesser spotted Woodpecker  

We watched a Mistle Thrush at its nest and another carrying food, Redstarts were active but the Pied Flycatchers were really quiet and I only managed a few "grab" shots. 

I've added a pic of a nice male bird from a previous visit to Yarner.

We need some warm weather!

It was a good day in good company and also really nice to meet some people I've not seen for quite some time!

Mistle Thrush

Female Pied Flycatcher

Male Pied Flycatcher from a previous visit


Jasmina said...

Excellent day in terms of the species we saw. Definitely cold for this time of year and so a lack of insects. However lovely to see the Mistle Thrush feeding 3 young and the Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers busy around their nest.