Report on RSPB Aylesbeare Common Field Trip on 5 May 2023

As the sun came out in the afternoon, the weather was in stark contrast to the 55mph winds and lashing rain of storm Noa which blasted in on the planned date for this visit, in mid-April.   Two fleeting glimpses of Dartford Warblers – a male and a female, in different locations on the common, were the reward for some of the 18 members of the Plymouth branch who enjoyed a tour of the pebblebed heath.  With the progression of Spring, and leaves opening up further each day, it was an occasion for using ears as much as eyes to identify the bird species.  The group enjoyed seeing numerous Linnet and were able to pick out the call of Siskin flying between the tops of the pine trees.  The stark contrast of the melodic song and staccato call of Blackcap were listened to.  The ‘little bit of bread and no cheese’ of the Yellowhammer was not an indication of the sandwich menu, but the carrying song of a male perched in a tree top.  Good views of Red Kite were enjoyed, as one was a rather tatty individual and the other was more pristine, we concluded that there were two individuals gliding through.  On the eve of the King’s Coronation, the ‘crowning glory’ was not so much the variety of species seen, but the walk around the beautiful countryside and such good company.

Species list:

H = heard only

Buzzard, Jay, Linnet, Stonechat, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Robin, Greenfinch, Siskin, Swallow, House Martin, Dartford Warbler, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Red Kite, Mallard, Wood Pigeon, Yellowhammer, Herring Gull, Carrion Crow, Wren (H), Chaffinch (H), Dunnock (H), Blackcap (H)

Butterflies: Brimstone, Holly Blue, Red Admiral

Linnet (Photo by Dave Batten)
Willow Warbler (Photo by Dave Batten)
Yellowhammer (Photo by Dave Batten)
Red Kite (Photo by Dave Batten)


Report by M Johnson