At least once a year I walk along the old pipeline route through White Wood on Dartmoor in the hope of seeing, or at least hearing, wood warblers. As I don’t live on Dartmoor I have to take my chance as to when this will be.
I had such an opportunity on Friday 26 April, not the best of weather but after an initial heavy shower it was reasonable though grey.
The wood as ever was magic, with the oak trees just beginning to come into leaf. There was plenty of bird song, but no wood warblers.
I stopped for lunch about a third of the way along the track heading east, and in time saw a male pied flycatcher flitting from branch to branch.
Further along the track I did hear a wood warbler, somewhere down the slope towards the River Dart.
I met a man with binoculars who had seen also redstart and redpoll, which made me rather envious.
However, on my way back, as I came out of the wood I had a fleeting glimpse of a male redstart.
A bit further along there was a tree pipit at the top of one of the young birch trees.
And as I got near the Venford Reservoir there was a host of siskins flying between the trees. For some they are common but I rarely see them.
I wished I could have stayed longer but I had a meeting to attend. I think it was a little early in the year for the wood warblers so I am planning to return at the end of May.