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Watching Wildlife Report No. 8 @ Stonehouse 27th April

Martin Wright reports on Watching Wildlife Session No. 8

As has become usual for these sessions, twelve of us set out to walk the Western section of the restored canal on a lovely sunny morning for the final Watching Wildlife session of the year.

Record number of sightings

This is a wonderful area for distant views, and we managed to see a record number of birds in the process. Our walk took us westward, past Bonds Mill, and on towards Blunder Lock. In this section we found waterfowl in abundance, Coots, Moorhens, Mallards with young, and nesting Mute Swans.

An unexpected migrator

What was most unexpected, though, was the sighting of a Common Sandpiper, obviously on migration, and a long way from its probable destination of a Scottish loch.
Migration featured strongly during the morning, with welcome sightings of passing Swallows, House Martins, and even Swifts. We continued to Chipmans Platt, seeing many more Grey Wagtails than usual, and also Pied Wagtail, and both Thrushes, Mistle and Song. Unusually, these were feeding in the same area.

Spectacular landscape

Our return was via the water meadows to Beards Mill, which gave us views towards Stinchcombe Hill, and Cam Peak. That spectacular landscape was enhanced by a Kestrel hovering among the Swallows.  

A delightful day

Cotswold Canals Trust Chair of Trustees Jim White and his wife Caroline were in Martin’s party of twelve people.

Jim commented, “It was a delightful day. Martin’s knowledge, hearing and sharp eye for nature opened up the countryside for all of us fortunate enough to be with him.”

Birds seen

Mute Swan, Blackbird, Mallard, Song Thrush, Buzzard, Mistle Thrush, Kestrel, Blackcap, Moorhen, Chiffchaff, Coot, Long-tailed Tit, Common Sandpiper, Coal Tit, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Blue Tit, Herring Gull, Great Tit, Woodpigeon, Jay, Swift, Magpie, Green Woodpecker, Jackdaw, Swallow, Rook, House Martin, Crow, Grey Wagtail, Starling, Pied Wagtail, House Sparrow, Wren, Chaffinch, Dunnock, Goldfinch, Robin and Greenfinch.

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