Tuesday 09 October – Hawksbury Upton Leader Nick Hawkridge

A resurrected walk to the north of the village, hilly, so resuscitation was on the cards, but thankfully all 21 got
round unscathed – even the octogenarian. We started by going through the gardens of the old pub, where a pair
of Pied Wagtail ‘chizziked’ at our intrusion, and three Dunnock played chase. A couple of cock Pheasant paraded
on a wall before scooting off down into Upton Coombe, where we followed. The sun was hot, with a light breeze, a
zephyr to lighten the parties of Carrion Crows and Jackdaws, but sadly not strong enough to wind assist us to the
top of Barley Ridge. An obliging Great Spotted Woodpecker remained in her treetop perch for most of us to get a
‘good bins full’. The first of several Buzzards circled, calling until another joined the merry-go-round. A test for us
all was the padlocked five bar gate across the footpath – Pheasant rearing protection I suspect but really – -. A
couple of Jays were spotted before we went down through Church Wood and into Hannel Bottom where coffee
and sun were taken. It was quiet, bird-wise, along Small Coombe, a Blue Tit raising the list count (eventually 26)
but nothing could detract from the tranquillity. Up again we went, past Wine Cellar Farm, with many Pheasants
littering the landscape and, thankfully, a Nuthatch along the top of Bangel Wood. Our trek back through Upton
Coombe allowed good views of Green Woodpecker and a much debated Kestrel. Back in the village, we had
more Dunnocks, a lone Collared Dove and thankfully, for the tally, some House Sparrows. A very lovely day for
bird walking – even with so few species. (Thanks to Nick for leading) Nick Hawkridge