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Wildlife Watch — Session 8

Martin Wright reports on the 25th April Waterside Wildlife Watch

We enjoyed a rare sunny day for our last meeting this spring.

Eleven of us set out from St Cyrs Church at Stonehouse to ‘do the circuit’; over the meadows to Eastington and return via the canal towpath. Our route took us through the churchyard, over the canal and on to Beards Mill. Although little bird-song was to be heard, the first spring House Martins, House Sparrows, Herring Gulls and Lesser Black-backed Gulls did make an appearance. We also saw several early Green-veined White and Orange Tip butterflies.

Green-veined White butterfly

Storm clouds gathered

From a wildlife point of view the walk over the meadows was somewhat uneventful. We were soon hurried along by gathering storm clouds and just made it to Eastington Church. The church was open and provided a pleasant thirty minutes of shelter for the group.
We decided to brave the elements and head for Blunder Lock and the tow-path. This area was much more productive for wildlife, with a Grey Wagtail at the lock, Green Woodpeckers calling, and Chaffinches, Greenfinches Blackcaps and Great Tits singing and apple blossom to admire.

We stopped off at the Café at Bonds Mill, spending a pleasant coffee break whilst planning our extra ‘Birdsong Special Gathering’ in the Cotswold Water Park on May 9th. (See details below.) Along the towpath back to St Cyr’s Church, we caught up the familiar canal-side birds of Mute Swan, Coot, Moorhen and Mallard, so, a fitting way to conclude our season’s meetings.

Twenty seven species of birds seen

Mute Swan, Blackbird, Mallard, Blackcap, Buzzard, Chiffchaff, Pheasant, Blue Tit, Moorhen, Great Tit, Coot, Goldcrest, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Magpie, Herring Gull, Jackdaw, Green Woodpecker, Carrion Crow, House Martin, House Sparrow, Grey Wagtail, Chaffinch, Dipper, Greenfinch, Wren, Goldfinch and a Robin.

An extra session — a ‘Bird Song Special Gathering’

In view of the wintery weather experienced this season, one more session has been added to the 2018 programme.
Wildlife Watchers are invited to assemble for a ‘Bird Song Special Gathering’ at
The Gateway Centre, Cotswold Water Park, GL7 5TL at 9.30am on Wednesday 9th May.
The earlier start will provide time to organise car share journeys to other sites in the Water Park.
We hope to see, and listen to, nightingales, water birds & warblers and perhaps a cuckoo or two about their early spring business.
A contribution of £5.00 each, from CCT members and non-members, will be collected and donated to The Cotswold Canals Trust.