Meeting at the Beaufort Arms we collected Greenfinch in the car park, Jackdaw from the church spire and House Sparrow from the lane beside the ‘The Fox Inn’ and our access to the fields. This was a new walk through some lovely countryside and wooded valleys. Across the fields the Swallows skimmed and Swifts chased about above us and a brash Pheasant strutted his stuff in the corner; a Kestrel rounded to the hover above the roadway before disappearing behind some trees. Did I mention it was a lovely day? Well it makes such a difference. Either a Blackcap’s, Willow Warbler’s, or Chiffchaff’s call or song accompanied us for most of the way and we were lucky to see or hear three Great Spotted Woodpeckers. We had good views of Treecreeper among the ivy clad trees and Wren sang from the Briar patches. As we left the cover of Church Wood, through the animal proof fence, a Hobby skimmed over and the first of the four Buzzards we saw circled lazily around. Further on and up past Lower Kilcott, a Jay was heard and briefly seen. A small flock of twelve Starlings, all juveniles, forged over the rise close to our journey’s end and we heard the call and saw a flash of emerald as a Green Woodpecker flew in his undulating fashion over the fields. Nineteen walkers (who collected 30 species) all enjoyed this great morning’s birding, and give our hearty thanks for the charming stewardship of our excellent leader Hazel Wilmot.
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