Tuesday 18 October – Litton Reservoirs/Hinton Blewitt Leaders: Sue and John Prince

A group of 15 birders met outside the ‘Ring of Bells’ on a misty autumn morning, the sun breaking through as we set off past the church. The first excitement came as we watched Long-tailed Tits in a holly tree and realised that the neighbouring tree held a lovely young male Sparrowhawk. As we walked down the road to Coley a Nuthatch was at the roadside and then a second was seen and heard. Goldcrests were in a conifer in the village. Our usual route along both the lakes was closed for clearing the boathouse burnt down by vandals. On the first lake there were plenty of dabchicks, Moorhens and Coot. At coffee we watched a family of Mute Swans, two Black-headed Gulls, Pied Wagtails and a Cormorant. In nearby fields we saw four Little Egrets and a Pheasant. The diversion took us up a hill through a field with cattle grazing and where a Green Woodpecker was heard. The return route of lanes and fields held Skylarks and Meadow Pipits. Alan saw a Red Kite, John a Buzzard, and those at the rear saw a possible Merlin. In all 35 species were seen. A very pleasant ramble in beautiful countryside. (Thanks to Sue and John for leading). Sue Prince