Mid Devon Field Meeting North Wyke – Sunday 14 June

14 members, including two members from Plymouth, met on a warm summer morning for our walk around Rothamsted Research.  Hosted by very informative Jerry Tallowin, initially we were shown around the grounds seeing Greenfinch & Siskin, then walked to their Meteorological Station at the top of the hill, where we watched Buzzard, House Martin, etc. Then down through hydrologically separated fields to the water meadow environment alongside the River Taw, where we saw Heron, Dipper, Kingfisher and many other species. On our return we walked into the wetland area watching Reed Bunting, past the beautiful meadow full of flora, and through the woodland seeing/hearing Treecreeper, Lesser Redpoll, Garden Warbler, Blackcap and many other wonderful birds. Coming out of the woodland we saw a pair of Redstart.  Arriving back at the Centre we had our picnic lunch by the baronial style lawns and gardens. During lunch Jerry regaled us with insider snippets from working at the centre for many years until official retirement last year. After lunch he led us through North Wyke’s own bio-sewage system of ponds and reedbeds (after checking the resident Charolais Bull was not in the same area!) the water in the final pond being clear enough for a Mallard, where we also saw a Sparrowhawk!!  Our total species for the day – 38.

Many thanks to Jerry for a very interesting day.  Annabelle Strickland

Next Field Meeting – 7 July 0930 – Bellever – meet at car park (pay & display) SX656773.   Leader – Mary Wallis