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Saturday, 10 June 2017

Male redstart perched on branch

What a lovely reserve Coombes Valley is !

The weather forecast was for heavy rain and high winds - not the best conditions for birding in a wood - giving way to drier weather later in the morning. We decided to risk it and whilst it poured with rain on the way down we arrived with the expected improvement in the weather !! After chatting with Murray (one of the RSPB staff at the reserve), who showed us orchids growing not far from the centre, we ventured into the woods. Almost immediately we came across a number of Bullfinch on the path (the first of many seen) and we could hear Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Whitethroat and Willow Warblers all singing. Brilliant views of a pair of Redstart and good views of a pair of Pied Flycatchers provided us with the highlights of the day. All around us we could hear Great Spotted Woodpeckers, tits and warblers singing and calling but seeing them was a different matter - with the wind blowing the branches and leaves about ! The woods here are enchanting although all of us found the paths through the wood challenging due to the ground being slippy with the previous heavy rain. A few lucky members of the group saw a Kingfisher flying down the stream ... a rare sighting apparently at this reserve ... and we all had good views of a couple of Buzzards and a Peregrine. Walking round this reserve is a really great way to relax and get close to nature !