Tuesday 10 September – Folly Farm Leader: Jean Oliver

We set off to see “our” hedge, that is the one we planted in October 2017 as part of the Club’s 50th anniversary celebrations. It seems to be looking healthy, even though the height of some species disappointed a few. It is not the time of year for birdsong but many Robins were heard en route plus calls of Chiffchaff, Chaffinch,Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker, Buzzard, Nuthatch and Bullfinch among others. Walking through a mixed habitat of woodland and fields, Woodpigeon, Kestrel, Jay and Coal Tit were soon added to our list which eventually included Blackcap, Whitethroat, Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tit, Wren, Pheasant, all the Corvids, many Goldfinch and others – 32 species in all. Coffee was enjoyed on Round Hill and the sun came out so many layers were stowed. Here, on the new route which Jean had devised for us, we enjoyed one of many splendid views we had throughout the walk in all directions – I spotted part of the Cotswold edge and May Hill from one point. With the sun came the butterflies including some Painted Ladies and a Comma, all in particularly good condition. While many had missed a Spotted Flycatcher early on, everybody was able to watch two adults hunting from a Hawthorn while a juvenile watched and took note, plus, a bonus for some towards the end of our rather strung out company, a Stoat put in an appearance at the same spot. Back on Folly Farm the Field Bean fields, which were awaiting harvest for animal feed, turned out to be a feeding heaven for about 100 Swallows and 60 House Martins. Many thanks to Jean for leading this ever popular walk. Nancy Barrett