Saturday, 10 March 2012

Yarner Wood

I've only been to Yarner Wood once before, and that must have been over 5 years ago. I decided to go again yesterday and have another bash at finding a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (LSW) before the leaves come out & make it even harder than  it already is.

They've built a nice new hide in the car park overlooking a small pond. There were feeders quite close to the hide, but it didn't look very promising.....not a bird in sight. I thought I'd give it 5 minutes & I was glad I did. It didn't take long for a couple of Siskins to arrive, followed swiftly by Coal, Blue & Marsh Tits and a couple of Nuthatches. A Jay swooped down over the hide & a Raven was 'korrping' overhead.

The new hide
View from the hide
I then walked up the track behind the car park & saw a couple of Treecreepers & a flock of Long-tailed Tits, one of which looked like it was engaged in a spot of early nest building, flitting about with a beak full of moss. I came to the Field Museum, which was actually a museum piece itself, with a few ancient displays.

The 'Field Museum'
I walked through the woods to the old hide, which has an excellent view across a small valley. I opened the flaps in the hide & was amazed by how close the feeders were, with the nearest being only about 3 or 4 feet away. I was enveloped in a cloud of birds, with a constant stream of tits, Nuthatches & the occasional Siskin to-ing & fro-ing between the feeders & nearby trees. It was mesmerising watching them & listening to their whirring wings. A pair of Ravens flew over so low that they sounded a bit like swans going over. A Great Spotted Woodpecker (GSW) visited the surrounding trees a few times, so I was hoping that the LSW may turn up as well. It didn't!
The hide 

The view from inside
I eventually managed to drag myself away for a late lunch in the new hide before heading up a path onto an area of heathland. As I climbed up I thought I heard the call of a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker coming from the valley. It was a little way off, and as I started to make my way towards it, it stopped. I listened to the call on my App, and I'm fairly sure it was what I heard, but not sure enough. If only I'd worked out how to record on my phone before it started to call! I know now for next time.....

I continued across the heath & a Buzzard made a low pass. The only other bird I saw was a male Stonechat.

Out onto the heatland
I considered heading off for a look at Haytor, but couldn't resist another visit to the hide on the hill.  I had the same constant stream of Blue, Great, Coal & Marsh Tits, plus Chaffinches & Siskins. No Nuthatches this time, but the GSW not only visited the trees 3 or 4 times, but also the peanut feeder. No sign of the LSW though. Oh well, I'll just have to come back another day!

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