Tuesday 15 November – Blaise Estate Leader: Di Bunniss

Despite a dire weather forecast, predicting heavy and continuous rain, an optimistic group of 14 gathered in Blaise car park. As we grappled with the complexities of the ticket machine, the rain eased and by 10:00 we set off in the dry and thankfully it stayed that way. The first birds to be seen were Magpies, gathering near the cafe. The Mansion area had Jackdaws, Robins and possible Goldcrest in the conifers. A Goldcrest was then spotted in the Churchyard yew, with a Mistle Thrush perched high above in a tall tree. The Royals, a wide grassed area with an interesting history, had Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Jay, Mistle Thrush and flocks of Redwings flying over and occasionally settling among the trees. Two Buzzards flew up from their perch, more Goldcrest seen and various small birds darted about the trees. We climbed to the Castle for our coffee break where more Redwings came over and a Raven gave his harsh cry. Little was to be seen on the Beech Avenue, and the brook was full after the recent rain, rushing too fast for any Grey Wagtails. At the far end of the path a Sparrowhawk was spotted perched up high in the distance checking the area. Despite the forecast we had a dry walk with 29 species counted. Thanks to Nick for keeping a record (and to Di for leading). Di Bunniss