Ready for redstarts

Around the middle of June I begin to face the fact that, if I haven’t seen certain of our summer bird-visitors, I probably won’t see them this year.  I depend on Dartmoor and Wales to provide me with sightings of many of those which I don’t see at home—ring ouzels, redstarts and pied flycatchers for example.  So when I was on Dartmoor last week I was keen to see a redstart and a pied flycatcher, since I had had only fleeting sightings of both.

I took a short walk down the River Lyd from High Down.  There was a mist hiding the tops but the river was lovely.

By a big pool I saw a grey wagtail with food in its beak, probably feeding young.

1 Pool on Lyd

Pool on the River Lyd

Then a bit further down I heard then saw redstarts flitting about, a male and female and a possible young one.  What a joy that was.

2 where redstarts were

Where the redstarts were

There was plenty of bird activity on that small stretch of river; a blackbird and a mistle thrush with food, and meadow pipits.

Gradually the mist cleared and Doe Tor came into view.

5 Doe Tor

Doe Tor

I came back past the memorial to Captain Nigel Duncan Ratcliffe Hunter who was killed in action in Biefvillers on 25 March 1918.

4 Memorial

The memorial on Black Rock

After his last visit to Dartmoor he wrote a poem, which is reproduced on the memorial.  It is about the river and the view to the cross on ‘Widgery‘ (Bra) Tor, which had now come into sight.

3 Brat Tor

Widgery Cross on Bra Tor

My walk was short but full of interest.


About campaignerkate

I am the general secretary of the Open Spaces Society and I campaign for public access, paths and open spaces in town and country.
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