Saturday 13 April – Sand Point / Middle Hope Leader: Giles Morris

This joint walk with the Bristol Naturalists’ Society had more than 30 people meet in the car park with high hopes of hearing Grasshopper Warbler and seeing some spring migrants. It was a beautiful day and we all enjoyed the lovely views as well as good company. The birds did not disappoint either with displaying Whitethroat and Linnet at Sand Point, as well as singing Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Blackcap. The local Peregrine patrolled while Meadow Pipits, Tree Pipits and Goldfinches migrated overhead on their journey across the water to Wales. Whilst the first Avon Cirl Bunting since 1991 (seen the week before) was not repeated, we did find an almost
equally rare bird for Sand Point in the shape of a very smart looking Marsh Tit. This was the first one seen on Sand Point since 1996 and was keeping the company of a Coal Tit. Two Grasshopper Warblers gave their distinctive call. On then to Middle Hope where we didn’t see any Wheatear but a very smart male Redstart gave great views, while a Sparrowhawk gave its best Merlin impression. Skylarks delighted with great views and their iconic song, while smart looking Stonechats and singing Greenfinch added to the day. Overall, 37 species were seen by the main group, with another ten seen during the visit. Thanks to Giles for leading. Nick Page