Thursday, 26 January 2012


I wasn't planning to go birding today, but at about 2pm the sky was blue & the sun was shining, so it felt a shame to waste the afternoon. Went out to Bystock, a small Devon Wildlife Trust reserve that I have only visited once before. Despite its small size, it has a nice variety of habitats including heathland, grassland, woodland & a few small pools. It actually started to rain shortly after I arrived, but although it looked quite heavy the drops were actually 'floating' down & I didn't really get wet.

I walked up the Eastern edge of the reserve looking out across East Budleigh common, then stood for a while in the middle of the grass field  at the North of the reserve just scanning to see what I could find.  I had a great view of a 6 bullfinches, 4 male & 2 female. I don't remember ever having seen that number together before & it was quite impressive. I walked back around the Western side of the reserve looking down on the valley & then back up the middle to cross the boggy pools on the boardwalk. It started to get quite cold so headed back. I'd been there a couple of hours & managed to find 17 species:

Mallard, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Bullfinch, Blue tit, Great tit, Coal tit, Long-tailed tit, Carrion crow, Wood pigeon, Robin, Stonechat, Buzzard, Goldcrest, Dunnock, Blackbird & heard a Wren!

I hadn't expected to find any new species for the Year List, & I didn't. However, it was a very pleasant couple of hours & I'll certainly be going back for more visits.

East Budleigh Common from Bystock Reserve
Bystock Reserve

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