Martin Wright's report for February
"We had a good walk on the 19th February. The weather was good and we had a turnout of nine – so perfect for walking the towpath."
Meeting point hospitality
"We met at and enjoyed the hospitality of Bonds Mill Cafe. After a chat over cofee decided to head west along the towpath from there.
Signs of Spring
"We immediately noticed how much bird song there was, particularly Robins, Wrens and Song Thrushes. More signs of Spring were to follow, with Rooks nest-building in trees, and the local Herring and lesser Black-backed Gulls involved in courtship rituals.
"Looking towards the meadows, we had our second-ever sighting of Cormorant, and our first of a pair of Canada Geese, high in the sky.
"We walked across the Eastington road, and past the Cotswold Canals Trust Western Depot to follow the towpath to Chipmans Platt. This is as far as the path takes us at present.
"We then headed back to Eastington Church and found it surrounded by snow drops. En route we had very nice views of Grey Wagtail – perhaps the bird most closely associated with the canal.
"We returned to Bonds Mill along the canal towpath as the alternative route across the meadows was made impossible due to flooding.
Below is the list of 28 species seen during the morning.
Song Thrush, House Sparrow, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Robin, Goldfinch, Mistle Thrush, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Redwing, Black-headed Gull, Dunnock, Herring Gull, Wren, Lesser black-backed Gull, Goldcrest, Mute Swan, Jackdaw, Mallard, Crow, Coot, Rook, Moorhen, Magpie, Canada Goose, Grey Wagtail, Cormorant, Blue Tit, Buzzard, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit.
Click here or on the cafe photo to find out more about Bonds Mill Cafe.
Click on Jackie Harrison's photos to see larger images.
Some words of appreciation
Danny Boon, a regular member of Martin's Watching Wildlife sessions had this to say about the experience in general and Martin's prowess in particular…
"The walks are wonderful. Last Wednesday’s was made all the more impressive by the snowdrops at Eastington Church.
"Martin's routes provide so much to see and hear and he shares his knowledge so well.
"His ability to see and identify the wildlife well before any of us is amazing. We learn so much from Martin and thank him for that.
"Oh, and we also enjoyed the lunchtime baked potatoes and smiles back at the cafe!"
Click here to see details of Martin's next March walks.