Tuesday 06 July – Old Down, Tockington. Leader: Sue Black

Ten of us left the Old Down cricket club with a brisk breeze blowing and under a rather lowering sky. Crossing the cricket pitch, our first Swallows were swooping, soon to be seen bravely mobbing a harassed Kestrel. Down the hill through a floriferous meadow, but the wind meant few butterflies. However, it didn’t deter a Blackcap, Goldfinch, multiple Magpies and Carrion Crows, nor some Buzzards managing to soar despite the gale. A Stock Dove, Jackdaws on rooftops, Swifts up high, Moorhens enjoying the Tockington school pond, House Martin nests under eaves. Then probably the high spot of the walk, a Whitethroat singing its heart out and posed in a low tree beside the road. Soon Wood Pigeons, House Sparrows, Chiffchaff, Skylark, Bullfinch and Greenfinch were added to the list. Towards the end of the walk, we were treated to three Green Woodpeckers busy foraging on a playing field as we watched, along with three Jays. In addition to birds, we saw a Marbled White butterfly just managing to flutter despite the wind, a Tree bumble bee, a Buff- tailed bumble bee, and last but not least Jean kissed a Dung Roundhead mushroom(but it didn’t turn into a frog!) All in all, a very good birding list of twenty eight, thanks to some brilliant spotters and hearers, you know who you are! (Thanks to Sue for leading). Sue Black