Tuesday 11 June – Sand Point/Middle Hope Leader: Nick Hawkridge

The rain only really became constant after we were on the way back from the picnic. Before we got to the top of the steps above the car park it was quite calm being totally in the lee of the hill. There was a juvenile Robin, calling Chiffchaff and Blackcap, with a Wren sounding off as we climbed. At the top of the steps we all (seven) watched a family of Whitethroat, the juveniles being ushered into the brambles after we had all had a good look. We did not walk to the end of the Point as it was really windy but cut down towards the normal coffee stop and did enjoy a Kestrel hanging in the wind and a Swift hurtling by. At the coffee stop (early) we watched an adult and juvenile Rock Pipit feeding. There was a bit of a splash as we walked along Middle Hope, but the rain and wind did abate for a while, enough for us to be astonished to hear Skylark – but we all did. We sheltered in the lee of the old concrete piers at St Thomas’s Head for a short lunch stop. A Shelduck and some Mallards were eating too on the banks of the River Banwell and a lone House Sparrow, Greenfinch and Blackcap were heard. As we walked back we had nice flocks of Goldfinches, many juveniles with their families and two Whitethroats. A Curlew and Cormorant were seen just above the horizon heading upstream and as we got back Swallows were flying at head height along the lane beside the car park at the bottom of the steps. For the conditions it was amazing that we got to 30 species, and well done to the hardy souls who turned up. (Thanks to Nick for leading.) Nick Hawkridge