Martin Wright’s Winter Wildlife Watch Report
Saul Junction — 29th March
Just five of us very much enjoyed the best of the day’s weather for our meeting at Saul.
We found a record number of bird species, forty-two!
It was especially pleasing to see and hear two spring migrants – Blackcap and many Chiffchaffs.
Our route took us eastwards along the canal tow-path, with the marina on our right, and Whitminster Church to our left.
Mallards, Mute Swans and Moorhens were soon seen, and many song birds, including Song Thrush and Mistle Thrush, Blackbird, Robin, Chaffinch and Dunnock.
We soon reached the section where the canal and river combine, in a very nice wooded area.
Here, in addition to sightings of Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Kestrel and Buzzards, were Celandines in abundance, and even the early flowerings of Bluebells.
We also came across a small flock of Siskins and a Redpoll which were probably en route to breeding grounds further north.
The next section of our walk was the new footpath along the canal, which eventually reaches the roundabout on the A38.
After discussing whether we could do a round trip via Fromebridge Mill, with an eye on the weather, we turned back at Occupation Bridge, which is surely the widest on the canal.
Our return route involved a diversion via Whitminster Church, and Saul Junction just in time to beat the rain.
Cormorant, Blackbird, Heron, Song Thrush, Mute Swan, Mistle Thrush, Canada Goose, Blackcap, Mallard, Chiffchaff, Buzzard, Long-tailed Tit, Kestrel, Blue Tit, Pheasant, Great Tit, Moorhen, Nuthatch, Black-headed Gull, Magpie, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Jackdaw, Herring Gull, Rook, Stock Dove, Crow, Woodpigeon, Starling, Green Woodpecker, House Sparrow, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Chaffinch, Wren, Goldfinch, Dunnock, Linnet, Robin, Bullfinch, Siskin and Redpoll.