Trip to Venford Reservoir on 15th May

The route started by crossing Venford Dam and travelling down a steep path by the side of the waterworks buildings to the gate at the bottom. For a short distance we followed alongside the stream from the reservoir outfall and then onto the pipeline pathway. This then contoured for 1.5 miles around Bench Tor, when we finally crossed the moor back to the dam.

Below Venford Dam birdsong resounded.  This area of pines and mature deciduous trees was fenced off and provided a sheltered haven, particularly for several hirundines, making use of the buildings for nest sites.

 From the pathway looking down through the tree trunks of this delightful deciduous woodland into the Dart Valley, it felt like traversing a tree canopy trail. In the woodland predominantly of oak, rowan and holly, many summer migrants were found. We heard and saw a pair of Pied Flycatcher calling, as they returned to their nest site. A Redstart sang loudly from a treetop just into the wood. A Spotted Flycatcher fleetingly showed between the tree trunks below and a busy Wood Warbler gave vibrant trills, while shaking vigorously and sporting four colourful rings.

Both Tree Pipit and Yellowhammer were identified on the moorland area and several Cuckoo were heard calling from a distance.

The birds appeared to be finding food but the ground and moss on the tree trunks were both very dry for this time of year.

Thirteen members of Devon Birds were able to enjoy such a special site. 

Species list

Buzzard, Wood Pigeon, Cuckoo, Swift, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Skylark, Swallow, House Martin, Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, Wren, Robin, Redstart, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Wood Warbler, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Spotted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher, Long Tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Nuthatch, Tree Creeper, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Raven, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Siskin, Linnet, Yellowhammer.     40 species.

Liz Harris