Tuesday 14 March – Old Down Cricket Club Leader: Sue Black

The forecast encouraged 20 of us to sally forth and we were not disappointed. The morning was sunnier than predicted and almost warm! Starting across the cricket pitch we spotted Goldfinch and Chaffinch, a Raven called and was later seen. A Bullfinch and several wheezing Greenfinch added to the score. Robins were regaling us everywhere. Walking along past Tockington Manor School a Mistle Thrush perched obligingly in mistletoe. About 20 Fieldfares were spotted huddled against the wind in a tall oak. Numerous Stock Doves flew and called, as did Corvids on the fields. Skylarks called and fluttered above, heralding summer. Buzzards soared lazily overhead, and at coffee time in the sunshine we had a flypast by a red-tailed bumblebee. Challenged to detect birds in the ancient woodland of Sheepcombe Brake, sharp eyes and ears detected Blue Tits, Great Tits, Robins, Nuthatch, Blackbird, both Great Spotted and Green Woodpeckers, and finally Treecreeper. Also seen were Hairy Curtain Crust and Velvet Shanks fungi (thank you Jean!). 29 species of birds. (Thanks to Sue for leading) Sue Black