Tuesday 02 April – Gordano Valley Leader: Geoff Harris

After the recent warm spell the temperature had returned to a more seasonal six degrees, although the 18 walkers were relieved that the overnight rain had stopped. We were rewarded with an excellent spring total of 42 species. As we set out, the trees on Moor Lane were full of song with Blackcap (day total nine), Chiffchaff (16), Robin (14), Wren (seven), Great Tit (twelve), Blue Tit (16). There was no Willow Warbler this year, but the first of eight Greenfinch was heard and eventually seen. A male Bullfinch gave fine views at the top of his regular hedge.
Turning the corner the dawdlers were rewarded with a Sparrowhawk flypast and a Buzzard soared overhead. A Green Woodpecker was seen on a tree and Nuthatch was heard. The first Chaffinch was seen and as the sun came out a Song Thrush sang out. Entering the path over the moor, a Kestrel was hunched on a distant post, teasing us into speculating on Little Owl. The briefest of April showers was timed perfectly for the coffee break, but a Reed Bunting was a consolation. Skylark began to sing and a Snipe flew out of a rhyne. Entering the wood up the hill we heard more of the same songbirds and also Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming. Returning to the village we saw a welcome, and for many, our first Swallow on a wire, alone and waiting for companions. 24 House Sparrow bickered in their usual garden, as a Raven flew over. At the end we saw our second Grey Wagtail, and finally a Stock Dove. Many thanks to Geoff for leading this excellent walk. Gareth Roberts