Trip reports

Visit to RSPB Coombes Valley Reserve

Visit to RSPB Coombes Valley Reserve

Sunday, 20 May 2007

We broke our journey at Blithfield Reservoir and Mark found us a couple of yellow wagtails collecting nest building material.

Martin Randall, the Warden at Coombes Valley, met us in the car park and introduced himself and his two young female assistants. They then escorted us around the reserve for the next three hours and our thanks go to Martin for his knowledge and enthusiasm. The pied flycatchers were singing well and were very visible. The redstarts required a little patience which was eventually rewarded with excellent views of both sexes.

The footpaths were quite steep in some places but Martin paused frequently to point things out and allow the group to catch their breath.

The scenery was lovely from some of the high view points in this wooded river valley. Other birds included: nuthatch, coal tit, garden warbler, blackcap, willow warbler, chiffchaff and spotted flycatchers.

It was nice to see Betty Needham (a former chairperson of our group), Betty lives near Ashbourne and was waiting in the car park when we arrived to accompany us for the day. Her botanic skills proved particularly useful to Martin and the group.