Trip reports

Broadwater Warren RSPB Reserve (Leaders Sue Carter & Steve Goodrich)

Broadwater Warren RSPB Reserve (Leaders Sue Carter & Steve Goodrich)
Stonechat [Andy Hay]

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Fourteen participants assembled in the reserve car park on what must have been the hottest day of the year and we were joined by warden Alan Loweth, who had given us an interesting and informative talk at our indoor meeting the month before. It's good to see how the efforts of so many volunteers have made such a difference to this superb reserve where restored heathland meets ancient woodland.

Introductions over we set off on one of the many paths. Despite the lack of any rain for at least a month, the reserve looked very green with flowering centaury, buddleia and rosebay willow herb along with the lush growth of bracken. Blackberries and rowan were already setting fruit and the Exmoor ponies seemed to find plenty to munch on in the heathland area.

We stopped off at one pool to check the dragon and damsel flies, with the water level rapidly diminishing and then spent longer at the very scenic Decoy Pond before setting off along the woodland paths with columns of marching wood ants crossing.

The paucity of bird species seen, fifteen in total, was trumped by invertebrate species which numbered twenty-four. However, bird of the day was a nightjar, which was surprised by Peter Saville as he wandered ahead of the rest of the group. It flew from its tree perch and disappeared on the woodland carpet never to be seen again. That will teach the rest of us to lag behind! We did manage to hear, but not see, yellowhammer, robin, wren and raven.

The bird list was coal, blue and great tits, goldfinch, crow, linnet, great-spotted woodpecker, stonechat, chiffchaff, wood pigeon, blackbird, blackcap, dunnock and spotted flycatcher.

Butterflies and other invertebrates are as follows:- peacock, red admiral, white admiral, comma, speckled wood, silver-washed fritillary, dark green fritillary, wood white, small white, large white, green-veined white, gatekeeper, ringlet, brimstone, meadow brown, large skipper, Emperor dragonfly, southern hawker, common darter, banded demoiselle, small red damselfly, four-spot chaser, broad-bodied chaser and hornet.

Many thanks to all who took part in challenging conditions.

Sue Carter & Steve Goodrich