Tuesday 18 August – Hillesley

26 walkers set off accompanied by one wolf look-a-like puppy(belonging to the Fleece, a friendly community owned pub with great food). The puppy seemed keen to stick with us, so soon had to be taken back home – thanks, Sue! Walking through the village, House Martins, Collared Dove and Starlings were soon noted. It being mid- August there was a lack of birdsong and contact calls heard were sometimes hard to identify in the still thick foliage, though Goldfinch were in evidence. Two Whitethroat were seen by some. Soon after turning off the road there were Swallows hawking over a nearby field, while five young Pheasant were pottering by the hedge – and another dozen of the same by the hedge in the next field! One of the highlights was then spotted by some – a Red Kite. This was followed by very good views of another Red Kite sitting in a dead tree, while the first one flew around. Everybody saw at least one of these. A climb up a track littered with hazelnut shells brought us up to the top of the Cotswolds. Here Nuthatch was added to the list and some time was spent watching a family group of six Spotted Flycatchers doing their fly-catching from a wire fence – another highlight of this very beautiful walk. 27 species were seen in all with another couple heard. Many thanks to Peter for leading. Nancy Barratt