Tuesday 07 May – Puxton Moor

With competition from the holiday season, including the Club trip to Scotland, a select group of eleven walkers set
out past the church with its leaning tower on a dry and increasingly sunny day. One of the village Swallows flew over and the first of 14 Wrens sang out. A Reed Warbler was singing as we approached the reed-lined ditches on the lane out of the village and obligingly flew to a bramble. They had arrived on the moor in numbers and we heard eleven on the day. Chiffchaffs were also widespread, but we had only one Blackcap. A Sedge Warbler flew up to a bush close to the path giving us good views. A Moorhen called from a hidden ditch and two Mallard flew off. Above us two Crows were harrying a Buzzard, and a Kestrel was spotted. We later found a Kestrel pellet on a footbridge. The moor was initially quiet apart from a Roe Deer, then the first of two Wheatear was seen, then two Stonechat (who were nesting close by), the first of four Reed Buntings flew by, and the first of four Skylarks began to sing. There were further close encounters with Sedge Warblers. At coffee we kept an eye on a Raven’s nest on a pylon with both adult birds seen (two juveniles had fledged two weeks later). On our return along the river two Swallows were impressively flying at a Sparrowhawk. Whitethroat song was heard and we had good views following a song flight along the scrubby edge of a field. We also heard Dunnock and a distant Green Woodpecker. An enjoyable walk with 38 species (plus an ill-timed Greenfinch at 09:50). (Many thanks to Gareth for leading)
Gareth Roberts