Challacombe Farm visit on 17th May

A warm and sunny day boded well for the 25 Plymouth Branch (with other Devon Birds members) to walk from Bennett’s Cross to Challacombe Farm looking for cuckoo and moorland species.  A very slow measured walk down the valley in bright sunshine showed Cuckoos calling and very good views of Whinchat (see photo above).  Due to the slow nature of the meeting lunch was taken at the Golden Dagger Tin Mine and while having lunch one of the highlights was a Red Kite that very slowly drifted over us to the South West.

The group then walked on to Challacombe Farm. In its vicinity Redstart (see photo above), Swallow, House Martin (see photo below) and Garden Warbler were observed and even a Tree Creeper was seen taking food into a nest situated in a fascia board on one of the buildings.   The group then split with some returning by car to the start, others returning on the same route and some taking the longer route back to the car via Headland Warren Farm.  The latter route totalled 7.6km.

Species list

Buzzard, Red Kite, Herring Gull, Wood Pigeon, Cuckoo, Skylark, Swallow, House Martin, Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Wren, Robin, Redstart, Wheatear, Whinchat, Stonechat, Blackbird, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Chaffinch, Garden Warbler, Blue Tit, Blue tit, Marsh Tit, Tree Creeper, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Raven, House Sparrow, Chiffchaff, Linnet, Goldfinch, Reed Bunting.   Total 36

John O’Connell-Davidson