Tuesday 07 April – Eastville Park / Fishponds

 The morning started misty but by the time we were leaving the car park – in a part of Eastville Park unfamiliar to many, the sky was beginning to break up. Almost immediately we spotted an occupied Carrion Crow nest which, as it turned out, was the first of several. We headed down through the park towards the River Frome accompanied by the sound of a Chiffchaff and a Song Thrush melodiously serenading from the top of a tree. The river brought us a Grey Wagtail and a group of Long-tailed Tits together with the expected river birds. The lake was relatively quiet although a Mute Swan and a Canada Goose were observed on nests on the island. The highlight of the morning, however, came shortly after the coffee break when a Kingfisher dived and caught a fish directly in front of the leading part of the group. It then conveniently flew a few yards to another twig level with the rear of the group where it proceeded to adjust the position of the fish ready for swallowing, The latter part of the walk took us out of the park along some scrub and woodland behind houses at the edge of Fishponds and by now we were bathed in sunshine. Other notable species seen included Blackcap, Goldfinch, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Coal Tit and a group of five Jays all giving chase to one another. All in all 34 walkers saw some 33 species. The accompaniment of birdsong throughout the morning and the appearance of several butterflies suggested that spring had truly arrived. Thanks to Rich for leading, and especially for taking us to places many of us had never walked before.

John Lees