Trip reports

Field Trip to Dare Valley this Spring

Cuckoo perched in tree

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Sunday 20th May saw a small group of us visit the Dare Valley Country Park, a traditional Peregrine Falcon site.

On leaving the Visitor Centre car park on a bright sunny morning, a cuckoo could be heard calling in the distance. As we made our way up the valley we skirted a small stream giving us a glimpse of a dipper.
The canopy of oak and birch allowed us views of blue and great tits feeding also chaffinch and bullfinch. Along the path, peacock, orange tip and green veined butterflies were active in the morning sun.

Reaching the upper pound, little grebe, coot, moorhen and canada geese were on the water. As we arrived at the viewing platform, we set up our scopes to search for evidence of peregrine falcons nesting on the crag face. We drew a blank only to find a raven nest with a family of birds on the scree slope below.

We decided to move higher up to the original viewing platform which gave views over the alder and oak trees. This gave us a chance to watch a buzzard foraging out in the open. A peregrine was also sighted stooping over the crag.

Passing the pond on our return to the Visitor centre, a large flock of herring and lesser black-backed gulls had gathered on the water. At the centre, whilst we enjoyed an ice cream, resident swallows flew around the court yard.

During 2003, RSPB Cymru set up a programme showing the public the peregrine falcons as part of the 'Aren't Birds Brilliant' campaign. During that time our Group was very involved, spending most weekends on site at Dare Valley during the breeding season. We had a team out at the crag face and also at the visitor centre where live pictures of the birds on their nest were screened.

Hugh Harrison