Mid-Devon Field Meeting at Cookworthy Forest on Tuesday 14 Jan

Our group of intrepid birders braved an icy start, coupled with a distinct lack of sunshine, we were glad to have flasks of coffee and tea to sustain us.  Ably led by Ian, his walk took us from Stadson Bridge, through Weekpark plantation and up to the long abandoned and ruined Week Park Farm. We returned via a walk through the forest area alongside the stream where we expected to see woodcock and crossbills which have been seen in good numbers but sadly they failed to materialise on this occasion.  However,  we had an interesting mix of birds, notably snipe, kingfisher, mistle thrush, redwing, raven and goldcrest amongst the other usual suspects!  For a short while we were excited about a bird of prey sitting on a distant tree stump, until if flew off and was then obviously a buzzard!
The area is an eclectic mix of conifer plantations, broadleaf trees, gorse, brambles, scrub, ponds, ditches and open grassland providing a good habitat for a variety of wildlife and birds.  All who ventured out enjoyed this new area for the Mid-Devon group, a good start for 2014, and are looking forward to our next field trip to Steps Bridge in March and hopefully more clement weather conditions.
Annabelle Strickland