Plymouth Branch Field Meeting

Field Meeting at Saltram Park on 15th November

Posted November 20th at 6:25 pm in Plymouth Branch Field Meeting by Inga Page

Sixteen members met at the Laira Bridge end of the ‘Ride’ for a riverside walk through to Blaxton Meadow and then returning via the NT café to take in wooded walks and pasture.

Though the tide was quite full we were rewarded with a good selection of finches, tits and other species that frequent the trees and bushes that line the Ride pathway. On the river we saw a few gulls, Grey Heron, Cormorant, a Curlew and a skein of Canada Geese.

We walked through toward Blaxton Meadow and had good sightings of several jays with one showing well. Also seen on route were three Grey Heron perched in a tree along the riverside walk. As one might expect there were Great Tit, Robin, Wren and Blackbird as well as plenty of corvids.

Blaxton Meadow proved to be the main event with plentiful numbers of waders, wildfowl and wagtails.

Photographs by Dave Easter

On our return to the car park through Saltram Park we had several Mistle Thrush, Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Full species list (in order of appearance):-

Great Tit, Robin, Goldfinch, BH Gull, H Gull, C Crow, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Canada Goose, Curlew, Wren, Chaffinch, Jay, Blackbird, Greenfinch, B Tit, Turnstone, W Pigeon, Goldcrest, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Magpie, Starling, Mistle Thrush, Redwing, Mallard, Little Grebe, Shelduck, Redshank, Oystercatcher, Greenshank, Dunlin, Black Tailed Godwit, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Moorhen, Coalt Tit, Song Thrush, Jackdaw, Buzzard, Rook, Pheasant [43]

John Lloyd

Devon Birds Plymouth Branch


Plymouth Branch Field Meeting at Soar on 13th October 2018

Posted October 16th at 3:40 pm in Plymouth Branch Field Meeting by Inga Page

The presence of storm Callum meant the turn out met all expectations: few attendees and few birds.  The absence of rain meant that the two of us decided to see if any “goodies” were to be found in Starehole Valley.  There were plenty of Herring Gulls and some Great Black Backed Gulls to view as we walked to the farm.  Approaching the valley, a Raven was heard and seen but smaller birds were only heard, until a Snipe was put up by two National Trust workers.   Later a Kestrel and a Peregrine were seen along with a few Blue Tits.

Thinking Thurlestone would be more sheltered, we made our way there.  Certainly more birds were seen including 3 small tern, which on close examination were probably Common Tern. Identification was not easy when standing or keeping the scope still in the wind.  Many Black Headed Gulls were riding the waves but the only waders were Oystercatchers.   

As the rain arrived it was time to make our way home.

Lesley Goonesekera

Visit to Dawlish Warren on 16th September

Posted September 22nd at 12:12 pm in Plymouth Branch Field Meeting by Inga Page

High tide at Dawlish Warren was at 11.20, so an early start was necessary.   Birders, who were awake early enough for the start, had an enjoyable morning.  Large flocks of Linnets and Goldfinch entertained us as we made our way to the hide.  The field had not been grazed so there were plenty of seed heads to provide food for them.   A flock of Long Tailed Tits were also seen regularly and the odd summer migrant such as a Chiffchaff, Whitethroat and Blackcap and a couple of Swallows were found.

At the hide, there were good numbers of Oystercatcher, and Ringed Plover and some Godwit-both Bar-tailed and Black-tailed.  We had some expert tuition on the best way to identify them and also how to pick out the couple of Whimbrel.  Regular displays by Sandwich Terns were a delight to watch.  Expert eyes and a good scope were necessary to pick out other waders on the bank by the railway.  The Flying Scotsman was much easer to see!  Winter visitors are beginning to arrive and a flock of Widgeon were just visible. 

As we slowly returned to the cars, along the seaward path, 12+ Common Scoter flew past and 12+ Sanderling landed on the beach nearby and a Gannet was seen  fishing out to sea. 

Sanderling and Ringed Plover (Bob Barrows)

Oystercatchers (Bob Barrows)

Visiting Dawlish warren is always worthwhile. We saw over 40 different species in the various different habitats and had excellent views of most.   

Species seen – Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Shelduck, Wigeon, Common Scoter, Slavonian Grebe, Gannet, Cormorant, Shag, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Kesterel, Moorhen, Oystercatcher, Ring Plover, Dunlin, Sanderling, Redshank, Greenshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed godwit, Curlew, Whimbrel, Herring Gull, Black-headed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Sandwich Tern, Wood Pigeon, Meadow Pippit, Swallow, Pied Wagtail, Robin, Stonechat, Blackbird, Blackcap, Whitethroat Chiffcahff, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Carrion Crow, Starling, Chaffinch, Linnet, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Wren, Great Spotted Woodpecker.

(52 species)

Lesley Goonesekera

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