Tuesday 19 December – Goblin Combe Leader: Alastair Fraser

The heavy overnight rain was still falling as I arrived at Goblin Combe. My hope of a swift return home was confounded when seven other people turned up so I was compelled to lead the walk. We thought we would be lucky to see the Buzzard perched in its usual tree near the car park, but a dark shape appeared, flew low over the field before disturbing roosting pigeons as it landed. Birds were hard to find as we trudged up the muddy path. A flock of ten Redwings vacated the trees above us. A couple of Coal Tits and a Goldcrest were among the few sightings. The rain eased off, as forecast, by the coffee break with better luck as we went up the hill towards Wrington Warren; two flocks of Long-tailed Tits and a few Blue and Great Tits. Bullfinch as we walked towards Cleeve Toot, a couple of people heard Tawny Owl. The Avon Wildlife Trust has radically thinned part of the woodland but we still heard Great Spotted Woodpecker and Marsh Tit. The weather cleared as we reached the end of the walk and the birds were back in business. Mistletoe covered trees were full of Greenfinches, Goldfinches, Tits and a Song Thrush. We managed 26 species, the weather notwithstanding. (Thanks to Alastair for leading) Alastair Fraser