Monday, 15 June 2015

Bodmin Moor (6th June)

Had a great day birding Bodmin Moor with John St Ledger.  With his experience of the site we didn't have much trouble finding our target species.  First on the agenda were 3 Cuckoos (2 males and a female) the latter receiving more than her fair share of attention from some angry Meadow Pipits which seemed rather intent on mobbing her.  She also seemed to constitute a good portion of 1st year flight feathers which almost gave the impression of a hepatic type bird.  5 Whinchats were an additional highlight as we were privileged to see them at their only breeding site in Cornwall!  The four males in song were particularly outstanding!  Back near a water treatment works we could hear 2 Redstarts calling inside the complex however the westerly winds were responsible for suppressing any activity occurring on the visible eastern side of the private site.  However, all was not lost as we located a male feeding a juvenile in a nearby farm on our return.  4 pairs of Wheatear were also found with a total of six young along with numerous other individuals dotted around the slopes.  A Lesser Redpoll also flew over and a couple Black-headed Gulls were on the moors.

singing male Whinchat!

 Brown Willy, the highest point in Cornwall!

female Cuckoo, with initial views like this it looked like a hepatic bird

better views revealed that it was simply inheriting a good portion of 1st year flight feathers instead

juv Wheatear

only got a shot of the juv Redstart, the male was too restless to be able to get a digi-scope pic

Other species of note included Green Hairstreak, 3 Painted Lady and a couple Small Heath butterflies, a Roe Deer and some stunning scenery.

In all a very enjoyable day out with John, thanks again for the lift and the company!

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