Tuesday 12 December – Saltford Leader: Robert Hargreaves

On an unexpectedly sunny day over 40 walkers met at The Riverside, where the BOC Christmas lunch was to be held. We set off, looking at the very high river level, for our flexible walk. Most took the higher path, affording interesting views and seeing common small birds including two Great Spotted Woodpeckers, four Goldcrest, a Mistle Thrush and seven Blackbirds. Joining up with walkers who took “The Shallows” road next to the river gave us Blackcap, a flock of Fieldfares overhead and Cormorants perched high above the water. The group divided again with either the ‘Jolly Sailor’ or Avon Farm routes being chosen. We saw more small flocks of Fieldfares and Redwings, a showy Mistle Thrush, a smart Jay and the usual small birds. As we neared Avon Farm a Red Kite was spotted along with a Linnet. Then it was an easy walk back down the road to our lunch venue, picking up Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers and a good number of Greenfinches as well as more Goldcrests, Goldfinch and small groups of Tits. Our splendid Christmas lunch gave us an opportunity to thank Graham Blacker for organising our well-attended, popular Tuesday walks. It was good to keep up the Tuesday Group Christmas walk and lunch tradition. Thanks to Mike Landen for arranging it so efficiently; a most enjoyable occasion all round with fine weather and plenty of birds, 36 species altogether. Thanks to Robert for leading and managing to get us back for lunch in a timely fashion! Anne Crowe