Tuesday 08 December – Stanton Drew Leader: Alastair Fraser

The weather was kind to us; a frost free start and a bright sunny day. The route starts at the Druids Arms following the Two Rivers Way to Pensford and then returning via Upper Stanton Drew. The farmland is predominantly pasture (sheep) with hedgerow (scalped) and copse. Leaving Stanton Drew, and the Green Woodpecker on the Church, we saw good sized flocks of gulls, mainly Black-headed and Common with the odd Herring and Lesser Black-backed. We also had the first of four Great Spotted Woodpecker. Flocks of Sparrows on the edge of the village gave way to a couple of Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit and one Chiffchaff. Lots of Woodpigeon including one flock of more than a hundred. A couple of us briefly spotted a Kingfisher along the river followed by a Treecreeper. The first of our Buzzards made an appearance, shortly afterwards a Kestrel. Small numbers of Redwings were seen throughout the walk and just one Fieldfare (in Upper Stanton Drew). The nice, neat hedgerows were devoid of berries so nothing to attract the thrushes. The Dipper failed to make an appearance in Pensford, perhaps the river was running too fast following the recent rain. This may explain the lack of Grey Wagtails too. Thirty seven species in total. Thanks to Alan Craddock for the comprehensive route details. (Thanks Alastair for leading). Alastair Fraser