Tuesday 17 August – Hinton Blewitt and Litton Leaders: Sue and John Prince

Our group of 16 walkers met outside the Ring O’ Bells pub. After an overcast start the sun came out for us while a family of four Ravens displayed, and House Martins could be heard nearby. Down Coley Hill we heard Goldcrest, Nuthatch, and Great-spotted Woodpecker. A mixed flock of tits – Blue, Great, and Coal flitted through the trees. At the first Litton reservoir we saw a Grey Wagtail, a juvenile Cormorant, the first of two sightings of Grey Heron, eleven dabchicks, Coots, Moorhens, and a pair of Great Crested Grebes with one youngster. A lucky few heard and then saw a Kingfisher. The upper lake held another Great Crested Grebe but was otherwise quiet. The second half of the walk was up a grassy hill and then through several fields back to the village. The breezy conditions meant that we didn’t hear or see Yellowhammer, but a total of six Chiffchaffs were heard “wheeting”, and we reached the cars to the sound of Long-tailed Tits. Of note were a Common Shrew (dead), three Badger runs with prints, a Red Admiral, a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly, and a Magpie Moth. 39 species of birds were seen in all. (Thanks to Sue and John for leading). Sue Prince