Tuesday 01 February – Lansdown Leaders: Anne Crowe and Graham Blacker

26 people gathered at Lansdown Park and Ride. Keen eyes picked up a distant Mistle Thrush as we crossed the road to the racecourse. The weather was better than expected with some sun and blue sky but we battled with a strong west wind along the track; then up to the golf course to be greeted by a tame Stonechat and a fine flock of Golden Plover in the sky. Entering the woods gave shelter with a fallen tree for our coffee stop seating; great for small birds, too. Treecreeper, Goldcrest and Nuthatch were the stars among the more common birds. From the woods to the Fire Station, watched by a perched Buzzard, gave sight of a Starling flock with a few more winter Thrushes and a few Long-tailed Tits to make the Tit species up to the usual four. This put us on the Cotswold Way, which we followed to Hanging Hill, giving us more Nuthatch, a Song Thrush, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, and fine views. Passing a flock of Jackdaws we returned along the bridleway to the “Golden Plover field”. By 13:00 they were already down roosting. A route across the golf course took us to the Charlcombe Inn. From there most returned directly to the Park and Ride, while a small group of four crossed over to the fields on the Charlcombe side. There we enjoyed watching a lone Common Gull paddling for worms and had excellent views of the surprise bird of the day – a Merlin! Total 34 species and great views of some of them thanks to Alan Daniels sharing his ‘scope, (Thanks to Anne & Graham) Anne Crowe