16 August, 2016

A Redstart Day

Sunday, and an outing with the Folks to Fernworthy.

Twas a sunny day of light variable winds and lots of peoples in the popular spots, so wandering about the back ends of the plantation seemed a good idea. As you may have surmised from the title, this was indeed the case.

There is in some circles no small amount of dislike for conifers. The dread cry of "Non-native!!" is uttered, and words beginning with d, such as dark dreary and desert usually turn up.
To me, nothing could be further from the truth.
I suppose a vast sea of monoculture would fit some of those terms, but certainly in Devon, the plantations surely do not. No, you can't easily cover every square metre, but do you want to? Indeed, should you? Shouldn't there be places that are hard [at the very least] for humans to get to?

You can certainly bird the plantations. The access tracks get all over the place [if you're willing to walk them], the terrain gives you overlooks, and there's that wonderful term patience...

Yes, every hill covered in trees is one that Dunlin and Curlew can't breed on*, but every big block is one where Crossbills and Siskin and.. other species can. AND, what is 'natural'? Hmm? That moorland? Or a sea of assorted native trees [with an impenetrable understory beneath them, fit only for Boar and Bear]? Humans are here and it is, imho, naive to deny it.

I've not even got to the environmental benefits of growing trees here, yet.

But I think I've gone on enough for now.

We wandered about here and there, and there were loads of gorgeous juvie Redstarts [at last!], and the odd skulky adults, mostly around the felled edges of conifer blocks.

Hit the pics;


Modern art installation;
'Someone's been busy'

Marmite birding.


And now a more traditional shot, due to bad light and temperamental autofocus..

 Male Crossbill

Something for KW;
Smaller plants

We had a nice [if quite warm] time, with double figures of Redstarts, as well as Crossbills and the usual suspects. Also notable were large numbers of dragonflies - Migrant and Common Hawkers mostly - with almost every ride and open area patrolled.

Closer to home.. Large numbers of wasps around right now - frequently attracted to windows at night and unable to get back out - they seem to be Red Wasps [well, the dead one under my window is, anyway]. Coal Tits and Nuthatches are back to the feeders, presumably freshly-moulted, and the odd lost-looking juvie Greenfinch has hung about with that 'wth?!?' look you often see on the freshly independent... 

Be Seeing You..

[[*Though between climate change and the hordes of people wandering around...]]

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