Sunday 29 May – Quantocks Leader: Nick Hawkridge

The car park was busy; ominously full of bike-racked cars and vans, but we came through unscathed and even avoided the horses. In dappled sunlight and a fresh breeze we started our tally with Bullfinch, quickly followed by Stock Dove singing its dulcet ‘ooo-ue’ in the woods. Our first target was achieved with singing Wood Warbler closely followed by Pied Flycatcher – good numbers of these throughout the day. Jeff Holmes met us at the start of Slaughterhouse Combe. He led us to the tops via Lowsey Thorn, with a Redstart family and Spotted Flycatcher just before we emerged onto the moor. Lunching close to the path we had lovely views of both Stonechat and Linnet families. A Cuckoo called then showed and finally flew right over us but leaving the best bit of this species to a female whose bubble call was heard close by. As we ambled along towards Bicknoller Post a shout went up of Dartford Warbler and indeed two showed quite well for a time. We said our goodbyes to Jeff just before we started the descent into Sheppard’s Combe. With Lady’s Edge above us we picked up Yellowhammer and a rare view of Willow Warbler and nearing the end of Hodders Combe a Dipper was skulking in the cover of the overhang above the stream. A total of 16 walkers, and 45 species were seen or heard. (Thanks to Nick for leading). Nick Hawkridge