Saturday 17 May – Coombe Hill Meadow

 We met Mike Smart on a warm sunny evening for a guided walk around this wetland meadow alongside the canal. Brimstone butterflies were flitting around us as Swallows flew overhead to the sound of Skylarks. We took the circular walk through the SSSI spotting many plants before overlooking the first scrape. There were two Avocets feeding and the Oystercatchers had a chick following them about. Further on we heard the sound of Cuckoo and then it flew into the top of the nearest tree and gave us great views of it calling. The pond had lots of Mallards with their ducklings. Coming around to the other side of the scrape a Sedge Warbler sat on the fence post a few metres from us and gave us a serenade. We waited for dusk to arrive watching the wetland and were rewarded with a Whimbrel flying in and landing next to the Curlew; I didn’t realise there was such a size difference. This was a great end to an evening walk with 47 species seen. Thank you to Mike for leading. Louise Bailey