Tuesday 06 October – Upton Cheney/Swineford

A group of 13 ‘hardy souls’ set out from Upton Cheyney in pouring rain. It did not look very promising for birding but we soon got our morning’s list started with Blue and Great Tits on a garden feeder and a Starling and Chaffinches were seen in the same area. A Thrush was seen flying and quickly identified as a Redwing which was the first of this autumn for the Tuesday walk. By this time the weather was improving and we soon had a nice rainbow to lift our spirits and, apart from a few very light showers, the rest of the morning was very pleasant and decidedly warm in the October sunshine. We soon added Long-tailed Tit (approximately 25 were seen during the walk), Wood Pigeon, Carrion Crow, Robin and Buzzard with a large number of Jackdaws seen over and around the church tower. We saw Collared Dove and Blackbird and some had a good view of the first of three or four Jays with one having an acorn in its bill. A small flock of about 40 Black-headed Gulls flew over and two Goldcrests were heard and then seen. After walking along the Bristol to Bath cycle path we took a footpath along the River Avon. Two or three of our group were fortunate to see a Kingfisher and we also added Kestrel, Yellowhammer and Skylark. A Green Woodpecker was heard and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen briefly. Towards the end of the walk a Chiffchaff was heard and Thrushes were spotted in a dead tree; three were identified as Mistle Thrush and one as a Song Thrush. There were also two Greenfinches in the same tree. It was a much more enjoyable morning’s walk then we envisaged when we set off and we managed a total of 28 species. Thanks to Nick Hawkridge for keeping a record of species seen and to David Body for leading.

Mike Landen