Society News from May 2022

Taw & Torridge Branch Indoor Meetings - updated

Posted September 2nd at 5:16 pm in Events by Mike Daniels

The Taw & Torridge Branch are restarting Indoor Meetings at the Castle Centre, Barnstaple. Start times are :7.30pm. Details for the remainder of 2022 and beginning of 2023 are:

8th November - Philip Marlow, African Game Parks are not just the Big 5

13th December - John Walters, the Secret Life of the Long-tailed Tit

10th January 2023 - Emma Scotney, An Introduction to Bats

14th February - James Fentom, Plovers of St Helena: A study

14th March - Stephen Powels, Tawny Owls

11th April - Ian Gaspar, Bird behaviour: an illustrated talk


Plymouth Group walk at Venford Reservoir

Posted May 28th at 7:01 pm in Plymouth Group walk at Venford Reservoir by Tony Utting

Please use the link below to see a report of the Plymouth Group's walk at Venford reservoir

Plymouth Group walk at Venford Reservoir

Plymouth Group event at Broadsands

Posted May 28th at 6:59 pm in Plymouth Branch by Tony Utting

Please use the link below to see the report of this event held by the Plymouth Branch

Plymouth Group visit to Braodsands

Identifying Birds by Song – A Walk Around Challacombe Down, May 9th, 2022 led by Nick and Sara D’Agorne

Posted May 19th at 8:40 am in South Devon Branch by Chris Wright

The weather was thick fog when the leaders arrived at 8.20am and the car park remained empty, as Nick discovered he had sent out details of a parking area a half mile away, which, due to the fog, was not visible! Fortunately one of the group decided to check with the other car park and discovered their leaders waiting in the gloom. In spite of the poor start the birds went from strength to strength and as the sun started to push through, Cuckoos appeared, calling, flying and generally performing for the group. Whinchats were also singing well and at one point, with Wheatear, Stonechat and Whinchat all in view the difference between their song/call was made far easier.

Willow Warblers were also everywhere, singing their beautiful descending song whilst perching in the Willow canopy. The group continued on the circuit and, after a coffee break, whilst listening to Meadow Pipits a Red Kite appeared over the valley. Then, with Blackcaps singing loudly, the group descended to Challacombe Farm and watched a Buzzard and Sparrowhawk using the same thermal to gain height. Further down the track the Swallows had just arrived and were zooming around the barn. A distant song of a Redstart was pursued with vigour and on the bridge a Garden Warbler was not only heard, but also seen on the branch of a tree. The Redstart was eventually found singing from a stand of conifers.

A pair of active Nuthatches were then observed going in and out of a hole in a tree, before the group moved on across the open moorland valley, scanning the area for birds. They were rewarded by more views of Wheatear, before walking the return route over the Tor and back down to the car park, nearly tripping over another Wheatear on the path.

A good list of 43 species was seen and heard by the group of 8 birders on the day.

Bird List

  • Common Woodpigeon
  • Common Cuckoo
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull
  • Eurasian Sparrowhawk
  • Red Kite
  • Common Buzzard
  • Great Spotted Woodpecker
  • Eurasian Green Woodpecker
  • Common Kestrel
  • Common Magpie
  • Carrion Crow
  • Common Raven
  • Coal Tit
  • Great Tit
  • Eurasian Skylark
  • Barn Swallow
  • Willow Warbler
  • Common Chiffchaff
  • Long-tailed Tit
  • Eurasian Blackcap
  • Garden Warbler
  • Common Whitethroat
  • Goldcrest
  • Eurasian Nuthatch
  • Eurasian Wren
  • Mistle Thrush
  • Song Thrush
  • Eurasian Blackbird
  • European Robin
  • Common Redstart
  • Whinchat
  • European Stonechat
  • Northern Wheatear
  • Dunnock
  • House Sparrow
  • Grey Wagtail
  • Pied Wagtail
  • Meadow Pipit
  • Common Chaffinch
  • Common Linnet
  • European Goldfinch
  • Eurasian Siskin
  • Common Reed Bunting

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