Plymouth Branch’s visit to Yarner Wood and Trendlebere Down attracted members from across the county as well as a few non-members, together totalling 28 birders all of whom enjoyed the very best that this wonderful area has to offer. With excellent organisation by event leaders Jacki and Kevin Solman subdividing into three groups and taking different routes meant that we only all met up again upon our return to the car park. In small groups participants were therefore easily able to share information and observe birds at close quarter and have the most rewarding birding experience.

Among the stars of the day were Pied Flycatchers which, having arrived approximately 2 weeks ago, were getting on with the job of nest building. Their agile flittering could be seen at almost every other nest box and their two tone, discordant song was a prominent part of the sound track for much of the visit. Bursts of drumming by Great Spotted Woodpecker reverberated around the woodland, the ‘cronk’ of Raven carried through the valley, cascading, descending notes of Willow Warbler and Tree Pipit advertised the arrival of these summer visitors with the most tuneful melodies provided by Song Thrush and Blackcap.

There was an opportunity to watch birds during one of their busiest times in the year and observe different patterns of behaviour deployed for attracting a mate and to marvel at different flight styles for example those used for soaring and hunting. The sickle shaped Swift’s wing profile was a welcome sight for several participants who caught their first view for the 2024 season.

Total species 44:
Canada Goose, Mallard, Pheasant (H), Cormorant, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Moorhen, Woodpigeon, Swift, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Swallow, House Martin, Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Redstart (H), Stonechat, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Pied Flycatcher, Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Nuthatch, Magpie, Jay, Carrion Crow, Raven, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Siskin, Linnet, Bullfinch

Report by Mary Johnson


Great Spotted Woodpecker
Nuthatch (Dave Batten)
Pied Flycatcher (Chris Marcol)
Siskin (Chris Marcol)
Willow Warbler (Dave Batten)
Tree Pipit (Mary Johnson)
Song Thrush (Mike Longhurst)
Mistle Thrush (Dave Easter)