Tuesday 01 June – Compton Dando Leader: Mike Landen

It was a beautiful June morning as 13 of us met at Compton Dando. It felt good to be back with a group nearer to the normal size for our Tuesday walk. So, everyone appeared in high spirits as we set off towards the bridge over the River Chew, situated at the end of the village. A Grey Wagtail was quickly spotted as it perched on a branch over the river and immediately there was a shout of ‘Kingfisher’ from those looking up the river. Those of us who missed it did not have to wait long as we had three further sightings from the same spot and there were four different birds in total. A brilliant start. There was also a pair of Blue Tits behaving rather like Flycatchers as they hunted for insects. Rather reluctantly we left the bridge and made our way across the fields. We had a reasonable view of a Goldcrest and a Moorhen on the edge of the river.  We also added Great Spotted Woodpecker, Wren, Dunnock and Blackcap to our list. As we crossed the very pleasant meadows, we saw a Buzzard and a Lesser Black-backed Gull and were then treated to the sight of a Sparrowhawk flying quite close to us. As we approached Woollard two Mistle Thrushes were feeding in a field alongside the alpacas. In Woollard we saw Collared Dove and Swallow and a bit later Green Woodpecker, Mallard and Grey Heron. On the return leg as we left the woods, we had a sighting of a Red Kite. Interestingly this was almost at the same spot that we saw a Red Kite on the October 2020 walk.

Many thanks to Nick Hawkridge for keeping a list of species seen, or heard. The total for the walk was a respectable 34 and included an estimated eight Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 16 Blackcaps, eleven Wrens and twelve Goldfinches.  (Thanks to Mike for leading)                                                                                  Mike Landen