Tuesday 14 May – South Stoke

Led by Dave Body, 21 walkers gathered on a bright sunny morning in the centre of the village with lovely views across the valley. As we left the village, we saw House Martins busying themselves around the nearby houses, whilst Swift and Jackdaw flew overhead. South Stoke sits in a designated conservation area so the walk alone was of great interest, with a wildflower meadow, woodland and the reservoir and viaduct at Tucking Mill and what used to be Midford Railway Station. Early on, we saw a tree with several holes freshly carved by a Great Spotted Woodpecker. Many of the birds observed were gathering food for their offspring. We saw a Treecreeper on a telegraph pole by Tucking Mill and the reservoir provided views of numerous birds, including Grey Heron and a pair of Grey Wagtails posing for photographs in the sunshine. As many as twelve Robin were noted on the walk and two buzzards were seen overhead. Other notables included Nuthatch, Coal Tit and Swallow, whilst Pheasant were heard but not seen. All in all, a lovely walk with 37 species and over 150 birds noted. Our thanks go out to Dave Body for leading the walk and to Nick for constructing the list. Peter Trippier