Sunday 27June – Eastville Park and Duchess Pond, Stoke Park Leader: Richard Scantlebury

Four of us met on a cold, damp morning at Thingwall allotments for a walk around Eastville Park and up to Duchess Pond led by the extremely capable Rich Scantlebury. Having run around this park dozens of times during the pandemic I was surprised to find this new entrance, and we were greeted by a loud chorus of Blue Tit, Wren and Blackcap. Wandering further around the grasslands we could not make out any Peregrines on the distant Stapleton Church, but Swift hunted above and we listened to various common songs, much appreciated practice for myself. Wandering down to the pond we counted the water birds and enjoyed the flotilla of Mallard ducklings. Then came the highlight of the walk, a female Tawny Owl in the second box, well hidden but giving good views. The walk to Duchess Pond heralded two Grey Wagtail and fleeting Kingfisher views. Once at Duchess Pond the water itself was quiet, but a Buzzard and singing male Reed Bunting were great to see. The walk back to the cars also yielded the first Great Spotted Woodpecker and Stock Dove of the morning. Many thanks to Rich for leading, we ended up with 34 species across the two sites.  Pete Harrison