Martin Wright reports on the 11th April Waterside Wildlife Watch
Conditions were cold and wet again, but eleven hardy individuals turned up to explore the woodland and canal near Coates.
We headed north through Hailey Wood, and despite the wintery weather there was bird song to be heard. Marsh, Great, Blue and Long-tailed Tits were singing (and occasionally seen), along with other woodland birds such as Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Green Woodpecker and Stockdove.
Despite the rain and wind we did capture two ‘springtime’ scenes
Coates — A birdwatchers village
At Hailey Wood Sawmills we left the comparative shelter of the woodland to venture out into open country towards the village and church.
Coates is a ‘birdwatchers village’ where the traditional village birds can be found that are often missing elsewhere.
These included House Sparrow, Starling, Greenfinch and Collared Dove.
Passing through the village we then followed a footpath to the Thames and Severn Canal. This long abandoned section looked eminently restorable, with intact bridges, although overgrown with scrub. After the excitement of finding a Yellow Hammer on our last outing, we were surprised to find a small flock feeding on the nearby farmland.
Our walk back to the Tunnel House took us along the towpath, under a magnificent railway bridge, past the Round House and on to the Coates entrance of the canal tunnel. The group who remained to enjoy the pub’s hospitality certainly appreciated being in the warm and dry once more.
Thirty one species seen
Mallard, Long-tailed Tit, Buzzard, Marsh Tit, Kestrel, Blue Tit, Pheasant, Great Tit, Stockdove, Nuthatch, Woodpigeon, Magpie, Collared Dove, Jackdaw,
Green Woodpecker, Rook, Wren, Crow, Dunnock, Starling, Robin, House Sparrow, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Song Thrush, Greenfinch, Mistle Thrush, Goldfinch, Chiffchaff, Yellow Hammer and a Blackcap.
An extra session — a ‘Bird Song Gathering’
In view of the wintery weather experienced so far this season, one more session has been added to the 2018 programme.
Wildlife Watchers are invited to assemble for a ‘Bird Song Gathering’ at The Gateway Centre, Cotswold Water Park, GL7 5TL at 9.30 on Wednesday 9th May.
A contribution of £5.00 each, from CCT members and non-members, will be collected and donated to The Cotswold Canals Trust.
The earlier start will provide time to organise car share journeys to various sites in the Water Park where, all being well, the calls of the Nightingale, Cuckoo and others will be heard.