Martin Wright reports on a wet & windy Wednesday
Wednesday 14th February
Not an ideal day for a ramble, but seven of us met up at Victory Park, so we made the best of it.
There is a footpath from the car park to Ebley Mill, and we were soon on the tow-path heading eastwards.
We decided, because of the wind and rain, to head for the comparative shelter of the railway line towards Wallbridge.
The Wildlife Watch Team
This area was excellent for birdlife, with Redwings, Great, Blue and Long-tailed Tits, and Jays.
More surprising was to find a pair of Grey Wagtails, some way from their usual wetland habitat.
Noisy mob encountered
At Wallbridge, we made a detour to view the newly renovated Lower Lock, and then headed west back to our starting point. En-route, we saw the highlight of the morning – a Red Kite, circling over Stroud, and mobbed by noisy Gulls. By the time we got back to Ebley Mill, the weather had deteriorated, so we had a welcome a cup of coffee, and decided that we had made the most of morning.
Twenty six species seen
Mute Swan, Long-tailed Tit, Mallard, Blue Tit, Red Kite, Great Tit, Moorhen, Jay, Black-headed Gull, Magpie, Herring Gull, Crow, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Rook, Woodpigeon, Jackdaw, Collared Dove, Starling, Grey Wagtail, House Sparrow, Robin, Chaffinch, Blackbird, Goldfinch, Redwing and Bullfinch
‘Happy Walker’ comments…
“It is always a treat every other Wednesday morning to be Walking With Wildlife [and Martin Wright]. Martin educates us on the birds and wildlife – their habits and their habitats – their identifying features and their sounds. One might think that walking in a group might scare everything and we would see nothing, but Martin and other experts, see things where the rest of us see nothing – and his explanations of what we see make it all so interesting. Did you know that Cormorants nest in trees – webbed feet and all?
“But not everyone aspires to be a Wildlife Expert and the day is equally enjoyable for the fresh air, exercise and sociability. It is a very jolly group and after a couple of hours we have usually got to know each other fairly well. And you might find yourself learning about quirky local characters, different breeds of sheep or the 19th century gas industry.
“We usually start along the Canal and return by another route – hilly or not depending how energetic people feel on the day. It gets you places that you would normally miss, sometimes very close to somewhere you know but with a completely different character – and different wildlife. It is never too far as there are so many stops for things to look at.
“Next Wednesday – Brimscombe, where there have been a lot of sightings of the otters.”
The Next Session
The next Waterside Wildlife Watch session will meet
at Brimscombe Port, Stroud, GL5 5QQ, at 10:00am on Wednesday 28th February
A message for Wildlife Watchers
We hope to create a collection of photos of wildlife seen on Martin’s Wildlife Watch Sessions.
Most smartphones capture good hi-res images these days, so have yours ready.
A slice of cake and large coffee awaits in Upper Lock Cafe for the first Wildlife Watcher to ‘press the button’
on one of the numerous otters to be seen in Stroud’s waterways