There was a cool breeze blowing on Sun 14 Sept as members from Mid-Devon joined us to walk around the upper lake. An angling competition was taking place and we wondered how much disturbance this would have on our birdwatching, but we needn’t have worried. We stopped to talk to a fisherman who said a “goshawk’ had been seen on several occasions that morning and we were immediately on full alert looking for what we thought was probably an Osprey.
We were not disappointed as within minutes we spotted it. We had several good sightings, even a fishing attempt which was unsuccessful.
On the muddy margin across from the hide, four Common Sandpipers were seen with another larger bird. After some debate we agreed it was a Ruff still showing some summer plumage.
Some of the group then spotted 2 Whinchats and a female Reed Bunting.
As the cloud lifted and the sun came out, we headed to the lower lake where we enjoyed a picnic lunch whilst watching a family of Great Crested Grebes with their stripy headed young.
Afterwards we had a leisurely walk to the lower lake hide, on the way it was disappointing to see that the thick hedges had been replaced by post and wire fencing. The scrape in front of the hide was overgrown and no open water was visible and no birds were seen there. Retracing our steps and crossing the weir we walked beside the old canal to Virworthy Wharf, where in a barn museum there are interesting information boards depicting the story of the canal’s construction.
Few birds were seen but we enjoyed a pleasant walk – hedgerows laden with berries and sloes, whilst Small Tortoiseshell and Speckled Wood butterflies flitted amongst the wildflowers.
Bird species seen 42.