Report on Walmsley Reserve and Wadebridge Field Trip on 14 February 2023

With the first hint of the approach of Spring, on a day of wall to wall sunshine, 19 birdwatchers from the Plymouth branch visited one of the jewels in the Cornwall Birds’ crown, Walmsley Reserve.  We are grateful to the warden Adrian Langdon for facilitating our trip, which was such an enjoyable experience.

With the approaching high tide, Curlew, Mute Swan and Lapwing took to the fields around the Burniere hide from which we first viewed birds at the upper end of the estuary.  From the two reserve hides we had excellent views of a wide variety of duck species, from elegant Pintail to whistling Wigeon.  Other highlights included a Spoonbill, Green Sandpiper and Marsh Harrier.

Moving on to Chapel Amble we watched numerous Pied Wagtails and Meadow Pipits actively foraging in the shallow water on the scrape.  The group were entertained by an array of frogs poking their heads above water and the brief appearance of a fox.

The day will be remembered not just for the wide variety of species seen, but also for the number of some individual species, notably over 2000 Golden Plover.  Catching the light they appeared like glitter in a snow globe and close up views of birds on the mud banks created another spectacle, as the beautiful detail in their plumage could be appreciated.

Little Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Spoonbill, Mute Swan, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Shelduck, Wigeon, Gadwall, Teal, Mallard, Pintail, Shoveler, Tufted Duck, Goosander, Marsh Harrier, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Kestrel, Red-legged Partridge, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Dunlin, Snipe, Curlew, Redshank, Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Feral Pigeon, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Stonechat, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Redwing, Chiffchaff, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch

Total 63 species

Spoonbill (Photo by Dave Batten)
Golden Plover (Photo by Dave Easter)
Curlew (Photo by Dave Batten)
Snipe (Photo by Chris Marcol)
Common Frog (Photo by Chris Marcol)