Berry Head, 27th June 2024, mid-Devon Branch

We combined with a U3A walk being led by Doug Herdson to look for birds, butterflies, plants and anything else of interest on Berry Head. The weather was perfect! The coastal grassland was looking very good, with Viper’s Bugloss and Pyramidal Orchids in full flower amongst a variety of other plants. Linnet, Goldfinch and Skylark were present in good numbers across the grassland, with Whitethroat and Stonechat in the scrub. The seabird colony was a hive of activity, with mostly Guillemot but also a few Razorbill present and one or two Kittiwake were spotted, as well as some Fulmar. Perhaps the highlight was a pod (or two) of 20+ Common Dolphin feeding in the bay, often very close to some of the boats present, and giving great views over an extended period of time. While watching these, we also noted a large flock (150+) of presumed Manx Shearwater passing by a bit further out, with some birds settling on the water. Interestingly, a post on Devon Bird Sightings two days later from a kayaker in the bay reported a large flock of Balearic Shearwater, so this may have been what we had also seen but were unable to identify given the distance. The kayaker also reported 120 dolphins! Other than birds, there were some Meadow Brown and Marbled White butterflies (all species of which have been in very short supply this year), a Sulphur Pearl moth and a huge Oak Eggar Moth caterpillar.

Birds seen/heard (25 species):
Blackbird, Buzzard, Carrion Crow, Chiffchaff, Guillemot, Dunnock, Fulmar, Gannet, Goldfinch, Great Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Kittiwake, Linnet, Magpie, Manx Shearwater, Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Razorbill, Robin, Shag, Skylark, Stonechat, Swallow, Whitethroat, Woodpigeon

Sulphur Pearl Moth

Oak Eggar Moth caterpillar

Pyramidal Orchid