Trip Report - Cary Moor 27 February 2018

The members of the Birdwatching Group are a hardy bunch! No fewer than seven of us turned up in sub-zero temperatures for the re-arranged visit to Cary Moor (which had to be abandoned in January in favour of the Somerset Levels). On arrival we donned several more layers and set off down an unsurfaced drove which featured several ice-covered puddles. Trouble was that the cold weather had evidently kept the birds asleep because there was virtually nothing either visible or audible. Just as well we had seen a couple of Little Egret on the journey down.

All we managed for the first half hour or so was Blue T*t, Chaffinch, Wren, Crow, Blackbird, Song Thrush and several Robins. Finally we got lucky and encountered about 60 Redwing ground feeding in a large grassy field. Eventually we reached Cary Marsh (where previous visits had yielded Merlin, Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting - this time No, no and no!). But on the pond we saw Mute Swan, Mallard, Gadwall, Teal, Coot, Moorhen and Grey Heron. Raptors were obviously waiting for the weather to warm up a little because it was nearly midday before we managed a Kestrel and a distant Buzzard.

On the way back we found the Bird of the Day. Having heard a Green Woodpecker, one observant member managed to find it clinging to the trunk of a tree only about 100 metres away. More importantly, it stayed there for several minutes allowing everyone the chance of observing its spectacular plumage through a telescope. Not to mention its brilliant white eyelids!

Our species count for the morning was a modest 26, but the best thing about Cary Moor was that it was well sheltered, so nobody froze - and we all felt very virtuous for coming out on such an icy day!

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 27 March when we shall be visiting woodlands. Spring migration will have begun and the entire wood should be alive with birdsong. The only problem is that I do not yet know which wood we shall visit. That will depend on a recce I shall undertake a few days in advance.