Tuesday 04 September – Arlingham Leader: Alastair Fraser

Twenty-one of us met at the village car park in Arlingham on a dull but dry day. Our leader briefed us on the
birding possibilities of the area – good for a variety of raptors near the river and pipits in the meadows. In view of
the disappointingly gloomy weather however, we were warned that it may be a bird walk with “no birds”! We set
off and made an excellent start with a huge flock of House Martins, an amazing 250 of them, wheeling through the
sky on our left. By the petting farm (with miniature goats) we watched a young Goldfinch being fed by a parent,
thinking it was a bit late in the year to be still raising a family. Birds included a few Collared Doves, Blue and
Great Tits; most of us saw the Chiffchaff whose call had beckoned us. Mallards shot up from the invisible
waterway, startling us. When we arrived at the banks of the Severn for our coffee stop the water was very low, the
banks very muddy, with some interesting cliffs across the wide river. A Little Egret dropped out of sight behind a
grassy bank while three Grey Herons rested on the mud. We continued along the raised path parallel to the river
bank around the land that forms a great bulge into the River Severn, finding plenty of Coots in the water and
enjoying views of the opposite bank. Not until we turned away from the river opposite the interesting looking town
of Newnham did we find one Meadow Pipit! We walked back into the village where we were greeted by a
welcome group of five Long-tailed Tits. A few stragglers missed the cut-through and had to be retrieved by our
leader; after which more than a few repaired to the community pub, The Red Lion, to sample the excellent food.
Though our only raptors and pipits were five Buzzards and one Meadow Pipit plenty of birds (31 species
altogether) were seen or heard and everyone enjoyed the interesting landscape of this new walk. (Thanks to
Alastair for leading the walk.) Alastair Fraser