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Wildlife Watch 19.03.14

Martin Wright's Saul Walk Report

This was our first meeting at Saul, and it proved to be one of the best supported to date, with thirteen people on the walk despite the surprisingly chilly, strong southerly wind.

Eastward on the Stroudwater

We set off in a very leisurely manner, following the Stroudwater Canal eastwards from its junction with the Gloucester Sharpness Canal, and immediately spotted birds we hadn’t seen previously.

The first was a Little Egret, sitting obligingly in a nearby field, and then a pair of Mandarin Ducks beside the canal.

Our route took us along the tow path to Walk Bridge, and then heading further east to Whitminster Bridge. Here there is a weir, usually a good spot for wildlife… and sure enough… we had good views of Heron and Grey Wagtail.

We continued the 'canal' theme and eventually arrived at Stonepits Bridge.

This is as far as the public footpath would take us in that direction. Here we saw a Raven and another new bird, a Skylark.

Discovery of the Day

Rather than taking the circular route via Highfield House, we retraced our steps, but not before the discovery of the day.

Foot prints

Foot prints seen beside the River Frome were almost certainly left by an Otter. Perhaps it would be worth making a return visit one evening. 

Signs of Spring

Finally, a walk through Whitminster Churchyard, which was a great place to linger, particularly as the sun had come out.

Celandines and primroses in flower and Chiffchaffs singing were further signs of Spring in the air.

Click here or on the photo to maximise the Mandarins

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Birds seen

Little Egret, Great Tit, Heron, Blue Tit, Cormorant, Long-tailed Tit, Mallard, Crow, Mandarin Duck, Raven, Mute Swan, Jackdaw, Moorhen, Collared Dove, Coot, Wood pigeon, Herring Gull, Wren, Black-headed Gull, Dunnock, Greenfinch, Green Woodpecker, Chaffinch, Pheasant, Robin, Grey Wagtail, Blackbird, Chiffchaff, Fieldfare and Skylark.