Tuesday 03 November – Eastville Park Leader: Rich Scantlebury

Assembling for a chilly start, six members met at Snuff Mills car park for a wander through Eastville Park and environs. Reaching the bridge over the Frome, we could see that the river was in spate and so there would be little chance of seeing a Kingfisher unless on the ponds or in flashpast. We carried on into the Park and encountered our first flock of Long-tailed Tits of the day. Blue Tits, Great Tits, Blackbirds, Wren and Dunnock were in evidence along the brambles and Goldfinches and Woodpigeons in the trees opposite. One of the highlights of the day followed as we turned uphill into Wickham Glen where we found another mixed tit flock accompanied by a couple of Nuthatches, two or three Goldcrests, a Coal Tit and further up in a Yew tree scoffing on the berries, two Mistle Thrushes, a truly enchanting quarter of an hour in the autumn sunshine. Pressing on we came to the ponds where as usual there were a goodly number of Black-headed Gulls (c70), Mute Swans (being a little aggressive to one another), two trees worth of Cormorants (seven), two Grey Herons, Mallard, Coot, Moorhen, a single Lesser Black-backed Gull and in the nest box on the first island we came to, a female Tawny Owl (bigger than the male, thank you, Rich). Heading back, we saw a Sparrowhawk at height being shepherded away by a pestering Carrion Crow and somewhere along the way we also picked up in no particular order, two Woodpeckers (one Green heard and a Great Spotted seen), a Grey Wagtail and four Chaffinches. There were also a good number of Jays about (six). For our finale, we once again headed up the Fishponds Brook in search of the elusive Dipper but other than quite a lot of mud and a brief encounter with a cameraman who had spotted one an hour earlier, our luck had run out. 32 species seen. Thanks to Rich for leading. Alan Cradock