Winter Wednesdays Wildlife Walk

Martin Wright reports on the season's second Wildlife Walk

This report concentrates on the second walk of the season after the first outing proved to be something of a wet & windy washout.

A fine day brought out the walkers

A much better day for our second Winter Wednesday Wildlife Walk of the season attracted no less than seventeen people.

CCT member Jackie Harrison's photographs, right, captured the colours of a glorious autumn day.

Ideal meeting point

The Café at Bonds Mill was an ideal meeting point and the staff looked after the group! The increased number of walkers actually proved to be quite manageable on this occasion due to the fact that the walk went west towards The Ocean. The towpath on this stretch can accommodate two people walking abreast.

Members expertise assists sightings

There was a lot of bird watching expertise on the walk so we were able to form two groups. We saw twenty-seven species of birds (and one butterfly basking in the sunshine) during the walk.

All the birds were familiar to most of us, but they were good to see after the Summer Break.

Impressive episode

One impressive episode was the excellent views we had of a Raven. This is a bird that didn’t occur in the Cotswolds twenty five years ago.

To add to the experience the Raven was being mobbed by Crows & Jackdaws. The disparity in size of the combatants emphasised just how big the Raven is.

European migrants

Migrating Fieldfares from northern Europe were also seen for the first time this autumn.

The real highlight for most people was the good view of a Kingfisher, perched on Giant Hogweed at Ryeford.

This is possibly the best site for watching these birds. And maybe Giant Hogweed does have a value after all.

List of birds sighted

Here is a list of the birds seen in the order that we came across them.

Carrion Crow; Fieldfare; Jackdaw; Starling; Robin; Pied Wagtail; Coot; Wood Pigeon; Moorhen; Greenfinch; Magpie; Mistle Thrush; Mute Swan; Song Thrush; Mallard; Kingfisher; Blackbird; Jay; Blue Tit; Coal Tit; Dunnock; Herring Gull; Black-headed Gull; Lesser Black-backed Gull; House Sparrow; Buzzard and Raven.

Click here or on the poster icon above to download & print a reminder of future walks