Yes, it does sound like some hippy-fest does it not? However, Bystock Reserve, at the top end of Exmouth parish, is apart from being laid-back and incredibly peaceful (grab some flowers man!), a truly marvellous little reserve. It has a little lake, with some very large Coy Carp, surrounded by pines, a number of tiny ponds, (good for frogspawn and dragonflies), a large grass meadow (ideal for butterflies), a bog, a deciduous wood, and can be very wet underfoot, hence the raised boardwalks and steps in places! I decided to pay it another visit lunchtime.
A swift look at the small lake produced a single drake Mallard, an inauspicious start! I bumped into Glenn Vernall, and had a quick chat about what he'd seen. We disussed the paucity of Siskins in the area this winter, but Glenn indicated he'd had one fly over calling earlier. A Green Woodpecker flew past us, calling. I carried on up the path and Glenn left towards his scooter. About 2 minutes later, I had a Siskin fly over calling! This was a patch year tick. I strolled on up to the top end of the reserve, into the deciduous wood. I was soon watching a vocal Nuthatch, in a beech tree above me. A few common species were also seen including 3 tit family members. After getting taken in by the peace and solitude of the place, I soon realised that my daydreaming had made the time march on - got to race back to the car! On the way back down through the reserve, I heard a Raven calling and saw a Great Spotted Woodpecker near the lake. And so, having experienced an hour's worth of "good vibes" it was time to return to work.