Yesterday I went to Broadsands, Paignton for my 3rd DBWPS field meeting. About 16 of us met up in the car park at 10am & headed straight into the unused rear-car park to look for Cirl Buntings. They are regular visitors as seed is put down for them every few days. I've only ever seen a Cirl Bunting in Spain, so I was hoping for an addition to my UK Life List as well as the Year List.
After she'd gone we waited a while with only a few Dunnocks appearing for the seed. Then I spotted a bright yellow blob deep in the hedge, which was indeed our first glimpse of the Cirls. 13 of them then descended on the seed, including 5 gorgeous males. I was now a happy birder!
|Admiring Cirl Buntings feeding under the hedge|
|Broadsands Beach & location of Cirl Buntings|
|Broadsands Bay looking North|
|Looking East towards the headland|
|A novel way to take the dog out....|
|Just like the Med....but colder|
At the next bay we turned back across the headland towards the car park, admiring a Buzzard on a post & a playing 'hunt the Blackcap' after hearing a male starting to sing in a hedge. After a while we finally found a pair.
We lunched in the car park in the sunshine. Some of the group left, but most of us then went on to the Clennon Valley, also in Paignton. I'd been there once before with Mary in April 2003 when we twitched a Dusky Warbler.
We walked across the playing fields into the wooded valley, which was unfortunately a bit quiet. There were a few ducks & Mute Swans on the pond, but nothing exciting. We had a close encounter with a Coot on the path which climbed the bank to munch on a Tongue Fern. I just love those feet!
|The Clennon Valley pond|
|Beware, Coot crossing|
We had a bit of excitement when 2 Peregrines flew overhead, one carrying a pigeon.We saw them again about 20 mins later, still with one carrying a pigeon & leaving a trail of feathers.
The only other interest was a couple of Chiffchaffs & an unusually large group of about 22 Magpies ( I looked it up & the collective noun is apparently a 'tidings'!).
We had walked quite a way during the day and it was beginning to tell.....
|Preston Sands looking North towards Torquay|