Watching Wildlife Report No. 2

Martin Wright’s Watching Wildlife Report No. 2

Brimscombe Wednesday 3rd February

Seventeen of us, including three small children, met at The Ship Inn at Brimscombe at 10am for the latest wildlife ramble. Once again we were lucky with the weather… sunny, but rather cold.

We set off in a westerly direction along the tow-path towards Griffin Mill Lock.

An interesting stretch to walk

This is an interesting stretch to walk at present, particularly to see the newly refurbished lock at Ham Mill, and the on-going dredging work. 

I anticipate that the deeper water provided by the dredging work will have a positive effect on the local wildlife. We had good views of Mistle Thrushes, Buzzard, Sparrow Hawk and gulls, along this stretch. 

Harbinger of Spring

We also spotted some early Celandines; the low-growing, hairless perennial flowering plant in the buttercup family. The Celandine prefers bare, damp ground and is regarded as an early harbinger of spring.

After stopping to admire the lock at Griffin Mill, we climbed up the hill, (via two very tall stiles), towards Bagpath, and the minor road that runs along the side of the hill.

A thank you to Jackie Harrison-Lawrence

Jackie assists Martin on the Wildlife Watch Sessions by collecting donations and stewarding the line of participants safely along the towpath and over stiles.

Jackie carries her camera and took this photo of the group responding to RSPB member Martin's sharp eyed observations.

Views across the valley

There were some spectacular views across the valley, and more birds! including Green Woodpecker, Kestrel, Stock Doves and Goldcrest. From Swellshill we descended the hill to Gough’s Orchard Lock and returned to The Ship Inn where many of the group enjoyed the pub’s lunchtime hospitality.

Twenty-eight birds seen

Kestrel, Blackbird, Sparrow Hawk, Song Thrush, Buzzard, Mistle Thrush, Mallard, Goldcrest, Moorhen, Blue Tit, Black-headed Gull, Great Tit, Lesser Black-backed Gull Magpie, Herring Gull, Jackdaw, Stock Dove, Carrion Crow, Woodpigeon, House Sparrow, Green Woodpecker, Goldfinch, Pied Wagtail, Chaffinch, Wren, Bullfinch and Robin.

Next session

The next Cotswold Canals Trust Waterside Wildlife Watch session takes place on Wednesday 17th February. Meet at St Cyrs Church, Stonehouse at 10am.