Tuesday 10 August – Blaise Estate Leader: Di Bunniss

August may be a quiet time for the birds, but the Buddleia bush near the Churchyard was full of butterflies. Red Admiral, Tortoiseshell, Painted Lady and Peacock all seen taking advantage of the flowers. Very few birds were seen in the churchyard, but the next field was more productive, with a flock of mixed Long-tailed Tits, Coal Tits and Chiffchaff, with a Tree Creeper heard in the background. Robin, Wren, Jackdaw and Crow were also seen. All was quiet as we walked to Blaise Castle, where a Buzzard overhead called as we had our break, and a Raven’s harsh croak was heard in the distance. The Beech Avenue revealed another Tree Creeper, this time seen as well as heard, and further flocks of mixed tits were flitting between the trees along Kings Weston Drive. Here we had a useful discussion on the difference between the call of the Great Tit and the Coal Tit with an admirable demonstration of the calls by one member of the group! Some of us decided we needed to swot up on our bird call recognition. Homework required. On the return route by Hazel Brook, we saw Grey Wagtail and Nuthatch. By the Old Mill a group of Goldcrests was spotted, two adults and two young, and another Treecreeper was heard. So, although August is a quiet month, we managed to see 23 species. Thanks to Alan Daniells for keeping the bird list (and Di Bunniss for leading). Di Bunniss