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Watching Wildlife Report No. 4 Wednesday 2nd March 2016

Martin Wright reports on Watching Wildlife Session No. 4

Despite the weather forecast of 'cold, wet and windy weather', nine people met at the Cotswold Canals Trust Visitor Centre at Saul Junction.

Rain, wind, snow and sunshine!

We set off just after 10.00 and headed eastwards to follow the canal towards Eastington. It had already started raining as we met but the showers rapidly turned into a deluge. The rain then changed to large wet flakes of wet snow!

A rapid collective decision was reached to seek shelter and a coffee in The Stables Café, so we retraced what few steps we had taken.

Perseverance has its rewards

Three quarters of an hour later we ventured out again, this time in bright sunshine. It was worth persevering as we were immediately rewarded with a new species for our walks — Curlew — ten of them, feeding in a nearby field.

The strong wind made it difficult to hear birdsong but we saw plenty of common birds, including the more unusual ones of Cormorant and Little Egret — another ‘first’ for the walks. This was followed by a brief glimpse of a Kingfisher.

We continued as far as Stonepits Bridge. This is as far as the Stroudwater Navigation can be accessed by public footpath. We then retraced our steps once more to arrive back at Whitminster Church. This took us through woodland with wild daffodils – a rarity in this part of the world.

The picture below illustrates the enthusiasm of the last Wednesday’s weather beaten wildlife watchers.

With the weather getting better, we walked on through the church yard, and had excellent views of Redwings, Fieldfares, Stockdoves and a solitary Blackcap.

Thirty species seen

Mallard, Robin, Heron, Blackbird, Little Egret, Fieldfare, Cormorant, Song Thrush, Curlew, Redwing, Buzzard, Blackcap, Moorhen, Long-tailed Tit, Coot, Blue Tit, Black-headed Gull, Great Tit, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Magpie, Herring Gull, Jackdaw, Stockdove, Crow, Woodpigeon, House Sparrow, Kingfisher, Chaffinch, Wren and Bullfinch.

Next session

The next Cotswold Canals Trust Waterside Wildlife Watch session will meet at The Visitor Centre at Wallbridge Lock at 10am on Wednesday 16th March.