Mid Devon and Exeter Field Trip 17th April 2024

A day without rain in April 2024 was a bit of a luxury for 13 Devon Birds members at Hawkerland Valley and Aylesbeare Common – part of the Pebblebed Heaths SSSI. Never mind the temperature and the wind, the group was able to lo ate at least 29 species, and have a good view of most of them. The “at least” because a couple of others were (probably) seen by some of the group – a sparrowhawk and a peregrine.

The stars of the show were arguably the crossbills; certainly 8 of them, and maybe a few more – though some of the group were more delighted by the Dartford Warblers. A bit of a toss up! Also, some excellent views of Yellowhammers. Most numerous (audibly, anyway) were Chiffchaffs with a bit of competition from Blackcaps. A couple of Willow Warblers were also singing.

The walk was limited tot he drier paths because the recent wet weather, of several months, had made some of the routes less suitable for everyone. But there was a range f habitats nevertheless. The heathy areas provided the group with Stonechat, Linnets and a Dunnock or two in addition to the species listed above. And the woodland provided Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers, along with Goldcrest, Nuthatch, Coal Tit and Treecreeper. Add in the usual suspects and it was a very pleasant session.

Report by Richard Hudson

List of birds seen/heard:
Blackbird, Blackcap, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Carrion Crow, Chiffchaff, Coal Tit, Crossbill, Dartford Warbler, Dunnock, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Green Woodpecker, Herring Gull, Linnet, Long-tailed Tit, Nuthatch, Raven, Robin, Siskin, Stonechat, Treecreeper, Willow Warbler, Woodpigeon, Wren, Yellowhammer