Trip reports

Barbondale Evening Trip

Male redstart perched on branch
RSPB Images

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

After a showery day, eleven local group members met in Barbon to rationalise cars for our evening in the beautiful Barbondale upland valley. We parked by the river as swallows flew low over the water and pied wagtails looked for insects on the river bank. An illusive grey wagtail appeared briefly by the weir as we crossed the bridge and made our way along the muddy path by the river. A tree pipit sang and did its parachuting display flight and a male kestrel hovered nearby and hunted along the fell side. Several willow warblers were singing and then a male redstart was spotted in the trees between the path and the river, giving us all good views for a few minutes. A brief yaffle of a green woodpecker was heard, along with a song thrush. Carrion crows and wood pigeons flew down the valley and a couple of mallards took flight. The woodland produced great tits, blue tits and long-tailed tits and a few chaffinch. A couple of red deer on the hillside had noticed our presence, and watched us as we watched them! We carried on along the track in the fading light and watched the nest boxes in the hope of finding a pied flycatcher. We were not disappointed as a male soon came of a nest box and flew into a nearby tree in search of food. As we made our way back to our cars, three red deer were running along the top of the fell side and a female goosander flew down the valley.
I think everyone enjoyed the evening, although the cold wind probably reduced bird activity.