An excellent field trip to Belstone by Mid Devon Group on 17 May

Lead by local expert, Chris Walpole, the Group had a wonderful day in the sunshine, starting off by walking down into Belstone Cleave where on our descent Swallows and House Martins were collecting mud from a puddle.  As we walked on down to the River Taw, we could hear Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Cuckoo.  We then heard the song of a Garden Warbler who was sat near the top of the tree in front of us. 

Garden Warbler, Chris Walpole, Belstone 17.5.2014

A little further on we heard a Redstart singing and walked onwards crossing the footbridge and uphill through Skaigh warren where the views were fantastic. We then got to see the Redstart and 4 Raven flying overhead.  After lunch, we headed out onto the Moor where we saw Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Wheatear and a Stonechat with a small amount of orange at the top of its breast and a large white collar (after comparing with the book it was similar to a Siberian Stonechat?)  We saw two Cuckoos, one perched at the top of a tree not far away with Meadow Pipit flying around and heard a third Cuckoo in the other direction.  The day produced 42 different species of birds and thanks to Chris we all enjoyed a great day out together and look forward to the next Mid Devon meeting at Bramford Speke on 29 May meet 10.00am by the church at Bramford Speke, parking around village, SX926982/984– everybody welcome to come along.

Annabelle Strickland