The DPA’s birdsong walk up the Deancombe Valley, close to Burrator, on Saturday 25th April, led by Tony John of the Dartmoor Study Group, was on the first dull, misty morning for weeks, but those who were willing to start at 6.30 am were rewarded by hearing and seeing some iconic spring and summer visitors as well as many resident woodland and moorland birds – 28 species in total.

Cuckoo
Wren
Willow warbler
Chiffchaff
Nuthatch
Song thrush
Mistle thrush – without a tail!
Blackbird
Robin
Dunnock
Redstart
Green woodpecker
Wood pigeon
Crow
Jackdaw
Magpie
Jay – a group of 11 – our leader had never before seen so many together in spring
Great tit
Coal tit
Long tailed tit
Blue tit
Marsh tit
Cormorant
Canada goose
Pheasant
Mallard
Chaffinch

And from the car on the way back over the moor, a wheatear.

With the current interest in cuckoos, Dartmoor National Park Authority, in association with Devon Birds, is taking part in a national project managed by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) to track Dartmoor’s cuckoos via satellite on their long migration flights between their breeding grounds here and their wintering grounds in Africa. This can be followed via their web page entitled Flight of the cuckoo.