Tuesday 04 October – Badminton Leader: Nick Hawkridge

Any rain encountered en route to our start had ceased and a blowy, autumn morning saw 21 members (three of them still in shorts!) meet. The initial mile or so of this very pleasant walk through an English country estate didn’t turn up many easy to see birds and the paths through the woods were very quiet. However, this was soon forgotten with good sightings and our final total was 37 species. On several occasions and particularly during the coffee break, Swallows were seen hawking over the fields; a Red Kite, a Buzzard and later a Kestrel were also spotted – not a Sparrowhawk to join the list of birds of prey, though a pile of feathers did indicate we might have just missed one. As usual the super-knowledgeable among us helped with identification, including three Snipe flying right over our heads and the great counting skills of some added good numbers of Stock Doves, Jackdaws, Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails to our list. It was great to see and hear Skylark, a few House Martins and, for some, a Yellowhammer. Nearing the end of our walk a couple of Roe Deer crossed a nearby field twice and we were watched by the estate herd of Red Deer and also saw the Beaufort hounds out for a pre-lunch walk. (Many thanks to Nick for leading) Nancy Barrett