Tuesday 15 October – Hawkesbury Upton Leader: Nick Hawkridge

A fat, puffed up Woodpigeon was dozing on a TV aerial, when its reverie was disturbed by the settling of 15 Starlings, exit stage left – one pigeon. The Starling count (43) was only bettered by Common Gull; c140. As the road climbed slightly, more and more gulls were revealed, all searching for food in the pasture. Linnets, Crows, Jackdaws and a constant flow of Skylark all flew over as we sauntered along part of Marshfield Track. Our attention was drawn to a bush, upon which sat a little bird. The ideas as to its parentage were varied, until finally our intrepid treasurer slunk across behind a wall to get a closer look – Yellowhammer. Just over the rise and in site of the coffee stop, a Snipe whizzed away and half a dozen Swallows flew across the face of the wood in a most determined way. Now our coffee stop would not be complete without a Buzzard, so to find, in Bodkin Hazel Wood, a Nuthatch was a bonus. A Stonechat was spotted; a Great Spotted Woodpecker and Jay were heard as we walked towards Horton Court and in the trees at the start of Walk Wood a pair of Song Thrush and a Mistle Thrush dashed about in the tops. The Cotswold Way was joined and we found further Yellowhammer and a bold Sparrowhawk seen from the path. The ‘Way’ gives most splendid views out over the River Severn. A Pied Wagtail was sitting on top of the Cricket Pavilion and proved to be our final species, making the total up to 36. Thanks to the 26 who turned up on a day with a rainy forecast but which, happily, was nice and sunny. (Thanks to Nick for leading.) Nick Hawkridge