Field Trip Whitchurch Down – 29 April

A really good turnout of birdwatchers (15) for a new area Field Meeting for Mid Devon. David Thomas led us across the edge of Tavistock golf club and down into the valley of a tributary of the River Tavy.  Out of the wind we could hear Blackcap and manyh more birds than we saw, yet still had good sightings of Willow Warbler, Linnet, Raven and Long-tailed Ttit amongst others. Upstream towards ‘Penny-come-quick bridge’, it was a toll bridge many years ago and the name comes from the one penny toll and hurry across to let the next wagon come across.   A stiff climb brought us up to a disused quarry with Chaffinch, meadow pipit flitting around, but we couldn’t find the regular Redstart there; then back over the Down, skirting the beautiful and fragrant gorse and the newly born foals, back to the cars for lunch.

Those that stayed for the afternoon for a short walk on the shoulder of Pew Tor (historically Pu Tor) were well rewarded with good views of Yellowhammer and Tree Pipit, also Mistle Thrush and a Swallow flew overhead.

David’s wife, Greta invited us back for a cuppa and home made cake, which was a lovely way to end the day.   Many thanks to them both.                   Annabelle Strickland

Total species – 32

Next Field Meeting – 12 May 0930 – Meldon – meet at car park (near viaduct) SX561918 Leader – Roger Jewell