Tuesday 07 March – Elm Farm, Burnett Leader: Philippa Paget

22 people assembled at the farmyard on a surprisingly clement day given the doom laden forecast. A Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Coal Tit visited the nearby feeders whilst Philippa gave a short talk on the set up and ethos of the farm. Then we set off into the fields where Chaffinch, Greenfinch and eventually Yellowhammers were spotted amongst the tops of the trees along the field boundaries. Moving further on we were advised to keep to the edges of the track as Philippa had spread seed along the middle for the birds, and Chaffinch (c150), Redwing, Linnet, Goldfinch and a Robin were taking advantage. As we carried on, a pair of Red Kite flew over us and circled off. Whilst we were having coffee, a Green Woodpecker was heard and a Kestrel and a Grey Heron put in appearances in the trees by the Chew. Shortly after a Buzzard replaced the Heron at the top of a dead tree and sat there with wings outstretched, presumably drying them – an amazing sight. We then headed down the hill and along the road to Compton Dando sewage works where two Goldcrest, two Dunnock, a Chiffchaff, a Robin and a Wren were in attendance but only the first arrivers saw the Hume’s Leaf Warbler which then went to ground in the large bramble bush. Finally we plodded back up the hill on the road to the farm. Thanks to Philippa for leading. 38 species seen in total. Alan Craddock