Dartmoor Bramblings ~ Crossbills & Linnets.

A great days birding with Dave PAKES who navigated our way across and around Dartmoor in the hunt for Bramblings and Crossbills.

Near Cator Green Cross there is a huge muddy wasteland of a field apparently an old potato field on first glance the field was a wet barren wilderness of nothing, then a Meadow Pipit showed and another, then Fieldfare started to show in increasing numbers along with Redwing, Starling and Mistle Thrush, a flock of 100 plus small finch sized birds landed and surprisingly to us proved to be Linnet with one or two Goldfinch mixed in, a single male Brambling and one Stock Dove, the field was alive with birds, returning later in the day all the above species were still present and were put to flight by a hunting female Sparrow hawk, a brief sighting of a Greater Spotted Woodpecker in the roadside hedge.

The entrance to Belliver Forest close the junction with the Postbridge road gave us a second and third Brambling along with hundreds of Chaffinch, top side of the wood a female Stonechat showed. Dropping down towards Soussons plantation eventually gave us a Crossbill typically landing in the top of the pines, dropping down into the valley by Soussons Farm there were significant number of Chaffinch and with them good numbers of Bramblings, so many that we quickly lost count of the numbers seen, all along the roads sides with Beech trees it was worth a look when Chaffinch were spotted. Lots of Coal Tits in the same area.

Challacombe gave Dave sight off two Herons flying low alongside the road, one dropped back in and gave us good views of a fully mature bird, shortly after that a Fox was spotted wandering down the road towards us and did not startle until alarmed by the sound of our cameras activating.

Back to Soussons plantation in time to see a large mixed flock of Tits moving through the pine tops, Great, Blue, Long Tailed and Coal identified.

Good numbers of Buzzards showing, pair of Bullfinch as we set of home.

Posted January 30th, 2015 at 5:43 pm by Steve Hopper in General Birding