Budby Common Trip Report 6/3/24

Seven members met up at Budby Pumping Station on a cold misty morning but fortunately there was no wind.  During the walk from there to the Common, we encountered typical woodland birds including Jay and a small flock of Siskin while in the field to the left of the track, Red-legged Partridge were spotted.  Once on the heathland area, it was very much a case of bird with one’s ears rather than eyes.  A Buzzard was heard ‘mewing’, a Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming and a Song Thrush gave a distant operatic performance from a hidden perch.  To really rub it in, at least one Green Woodpecker was ‘yaffling’ from just out of sight every few minutes as we completed our circuit of the Common.  While we should have been pleased that at least this year, we could hear some bird song (last year it was as silent as the grave), it was nonetheless dispiriting to think that we weren’t going to see Woodlark. And then, just the faintest hint of that tell tale descending set of notes. We paused and listened, and it came again. We

Woodlark spotting

were onto it. Arriving at a strategically placed seat, we stopped.  The weather was improving as the clouds began to part allowing the sun and a bit of warmth to filter through.  Initially distracted by a Green Woodpecker posing at the top of a nearby tree, one of the party noticed a potential Woodlark at the top of an oak.  Sadly scoping it came up with Meadow Pipit instead, but then a couple of sharp eyed individuals saw a couple of Pipit type birds drop down onto some bare earth.  This time, the scope revealed two stunning Woodlark and everyone was able to feast their eyes on them. Then to cap it all,

one of them gave the full singing display rising higher and higher into the blue sky. The cloud then closed in and all went quiet upon the Common so we left for Welbeck.
Here, the sun never truly burnt off the mist and while we saw up to 6 Buzzards and 2 Red Kites in the air at a time, there was little else of note.

All in all, 39 species. Group photo B Padley, Green Woodpecker & Woodlark M Kaye using a toy camera on a scope.

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