Tue 24 August – Little Sodbury. Leader: Nick Hawkridge

Above the car two Goldcrests were spotted sporting in the Yew that stands in St Adeline’s church yard and our departure point. A party of 26 is almost bound to stretch over a fair distance, coming together only when we stopped, firstly for Great Spotted Woodpecker with a Nuthatch accompanist, followed by Coot and Moorhen on the reservoir (now screened off). Up Horton Hill we went, to watch Swallow and House Martin feeding over the farm buildings and the feeders busy with the mixed tits. Our coffee was taken by the Millennium Folly with sightings of Kestrel and would you believe it a Hobby, blast its eyes, waiting until most of us had departed before showing itself. The lanes and paths to the breakaway point at Little Sodbury Manor were rather bare of birdlife, but the view over the Severn valley was some reward. We said goodbye to nine walkers at the first breakaway, with a further two lower down, however not before seeing a football sized Giant Puffball (Calvatia gigantean) in the Iron Age Camp. Some more of the same species were seen before we gained our vantage point, close to the tower of St John the Baptist, where we took lunch. The dining entertainment was provided by a Sparrowhawk displaying, a Jay and Green Woodpecker calling, with the latter undulating its way into distant trees. We ambled back along the footpath with a stop, not far from Portway Lane, for us all to admire Spotted Flycatcher and Redstart, the former made up of two distinct family parties. The weather was kind and the company most convivial with a final total of 32 species. (Thanks to Nick for leading). Nick Hawkridge