I went back to the same lovely spot close to Dartmoor where I had seen a Tree Pipit on Saturday morning. I was hoping that, given some luck and a decent bright day, I would get a decent photo. I couldn't believe it when, as soon as I climbed out of the car I could see, and hear it in the same Hawthorn that it had been in on my previous visit. Obviously this bird has set up a territory here and is singing to attract a mate, probably yet to arrive on migration. In the end I actually saw at least 3 different males.
They were all singing at the tops of hawthorns and from time to time, performing parrachute song flights. It turned out to be a really nice session and a real example of the wild areas, so full of wildlife here in Devon and close to my home. To start with it is unbelievably beautiful, England at it's glorious best with scenery that is as good as anywhere in the world. As I walked quietly down the hillside amongst huge boulders braken and sparse bushes, the air was filled with birdsong, mainly Willow Warblers and the Tree Pipits of course, but also Yellowhammers, Linnets and Chaffiches were everywhere. Buzzards soared above in mating display flight.
My day became even better when, as I came over the brow of the hill I was just feet from a deer, then another which amazingly was a buck Fallow Deer. That was a real surprise because I had absolutely no idea that Fallow Deer were living wild on Dartmoor. The buck sped away and I saw his antlers clearly confirming his species. If that were't enough, I almost stumbled in to another deer which I thought was more likely to be a Roe and then accross the valley and in fields opposite, I could clearly see a group of 4 more Fallow deer grazing like cattle. It was a pretty special day and I can't wait to go back.