Tuesday 11 September – Woodchester Park Leader: Nancy Barrett

A round dozen met in earlier than forecast drizzle and initially, as we walked down into the valley, the predominant
sound was of rain in the Beech trees, which were a vivid, almost springlike green. By coffee time birds had been
heard if not seen including Raven, Carrion Crow, Buzzard and Nuthatch. The sound of Mallard was a constant as
we made our way along lake edges with a total count of 71 and there were Coot and Moorhen too. Search for a
possible Garganey failed to come up with the goods but on other lakes Mandarin ducks including juveniles and
Tufted Duck were seen. The weather started to improve and there was a group of House Martins around a
juvenile Buzzard which was calling. Marsh Tit was heard. The sun put in an appearance during our picnic which
brought out some butterflies, moths and dragonflies and then, as the National Trust Ranger was unable to join us
for an update on work in the valley, we decided to continue down to the end of the final lake. This proved to be
well worthwhile adding Grey Heron and Cormorant to the list and at the very farthest spot two Grey Wagtail and a
Dipper were seen. En route back past the Mansion more Buzzards, House Martins and a few Swallows were in
evidence and some calling Chiffchaff. So even if planning a picnic in September might have seemed like tempting
fate, all’s well that ends well! (Thanks to Nancy for leading the walk.) Nancy Barrett