Tuesday 02 August – Hillesley Leader: Graham Blacker

The forecast was for a rather drizzly morning, but 17 of us met in the pretty village of Hillesley. The first field we went through yielded several Whitethroats, Greenfinch, Chaffinch and a huge flock of Linnets. A great start! We moved into open farmland and watched a solo gull quartering a ploughed field. After a period of debate and pondering, we decided it was a somewhat unseasonal Common Gull. As we walked through a small wood, Treecreeper, Goldcrest and Long-Tailed Tits were seen. We joined the Cotswold Way, and along a wooded path we heard ‘mewing’ calls; the source was found to be two Sparrowhawks. We passed through the village of Alderley, and out into a shallow valley. There we heard Ravens calling, and watched House Martins flying over distant trees while Swallows dashed low across the fields. It was another pleasant Tuesday walk, through varied countryside, and the rain held off until the last few minutes. In total we saw and/or heard 43 species. Thanks to Graham for leading, to Alan and Nick for keeping the records, and to all present for their great company. Tim Fell