Tuesday 01 October – Hillesley

Instead of one of those “misty, moisty” autumn mornings with shafts of sunlight catching the seasonal colours, 21 members turned out on a wall-to-wall grey morning. However, before we set out our leader told us “This is a lovely walk” – and it was, through a varied habitat of lanes, open hillsides, deep tracks with overhanging trees, which were surely very ancient ways, and typical Cotswold villages. Jackdaws were the first birds on our list and we saw and heard many more of them throughout the walk and also added other corvids – Crows, Raven and Rooks. Harking back to summer, several groups of House Martins were seen, a few Swallows, Chiffchaff and a Willow Warbler. Everybody got a good view of a Mistle Thrush perched on a bare branch but there were no winter thrushes about. Buzzard, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk were spotted and a Grey Wagtail from one of the several bridges we crossed. The beady-eyed picked out a Stock Dove and some Common Gulls feeding with others. Altogether 38 species were recorded and a couple of group photographs taken on a new “Monet” bridge which took the footpath past a former mill.