Friday 27 June – Marshfield

 Eleven members met at the lay-by on the Marshfield bypass on a fine sunny evening. We stuck to the lanes on the north side of the bypass, avoiding the muddy track. Our first sighting was of Swallows and Swifts busily soaring and diving after the numerous insects in the evening air. Then we came across a recently mown field on our left with a great flock of Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Herring Gulls and Carrion Crows. On the other side of the road we saw, and some of us heard, our first Corn Bunting sitting in the top of a distant tree. Several more were spotted later on. Moving on, a Sparrowhawk was sighted and flocks of Rooks with young made their presence known. The roadside verges were bright with the beautiful blue Meadow Cranesbill, together with Scabious, Knapweed and the yellow Ladies Bedstraw. Further on, near farm buildings, we had sightings of Yellowhammers, resplendent in their bright yellow plumage. Also Pied Wagtails, both adults and young, were seen hopping about on the roof of a barn. On our return, flocks of Starlings with young flew by preparing for their evening roost. We were also delighted to hear Red-legged Partridge in a field close to the road, but they didn’t show themselves. In a tree nearby some activity was spotted which turned out to be Great Tits feeding their young. Then a Grey Heron flew overhead. Other common birds seen were Stock Doves, Collared Doves, Woodpigeon, Linnet, Goldfinch, Song Thrush, House Martin, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Dunnock and a Pheasant. Our final sighting of the evening was of a Buzzard sitting on a telegraph pole. In total 27 species were identified. We did not see any Quail but, all in all, it was a very enjoyable evening out. Many thanks to Louise Bailey, who stood in for Charles Stapleton to lead the walk. Clive Burton.