Trip report: Bridgeyate (19 February 2013)

It was a glorious spring morning and 26 Tuesday walkers set off out of Bridgeyate towards Siston Common and Webbs Heath. Nine species of birds were recorded around the housing estate including Herring Gull, Collared Dove, Dunnock and Starling. As we walked along the Dramway path and down to the stream, a Bullfinch was calling from the hedgerow. A Song Thrush was singing loudly high in the trees but we could not spot him. We walked up a long hill and into Warmley forest and saw twenty Magpies sitting on the hilltop grass and we tried to decide whether it was the males or females displaying. There were magnificent old oak trees silhouetted against the bright blue sky together with alder trees which were a beautiful purple colour from bursting buds. Two Jays darted back and forth from tree to scrub while three Buzzards circled overhead. There were small groups of Long-tailed Tits flying from ash tree to ash tree accompanied by Blue Tits and Great Tits. Chaffinches, Robin, and Dunnocks were seen in the hedgerows and two House Sparrows were performing upside down together on a tree, maybe looking for insects or a complicated mating ritual! The wistful sound of a Goldcrest was heard and it was seen hopping high in an oak tree. Two Great Spotted Woodpeckers were heard drumming on opposite sides of the valley .We passed a small lake and saw a male and female Mallard Duck sitting contently on the bank in the sun. We recorded 29 species of birds. Thank you to David Body for leading this really beautiful walk through woodlands, hills, valleys and streams.