Tuesday 20 Dec – Snuff Mills Leader: Nick Hawkridge

What a lovely day for the last walk before Christmas. We trod the usual path up the south side of the River Frome. The first stretch of woodland was nearly silent but with plenty of tits and Goldcrest to be seen. The rear half of the 15 walkers managed to see Treecreeper and Great Spotted Woodpecker and caught up the front half who were onto a couple of Nuthatch and a flighty Jay. Two treats at the coffee stop. Firstly thanks for the lovely mince pies and secondly thanks to the Jay for dive bombing a Sparrowhawk causing it to flee from its conifer right over our heads. It did however perch nearby so its pictures could be taken. Down again to the river at Frenchay Bridge where, upriver, we saw a Kingfisher, flitting from one low slung perch to another, hunting for its lunch. Heading back past the oxbow, a few Mallard and Moorhen braved the torrent and another Kingfisher was particularly obliging by coming over to our side of the river to show off her finery – much to the delight of the family who had stopped to watch. What special sight these birds must have to see into such turgid depths. Back to the cars with 30 species seen and a three quid’s worth of parking well spent. (Thanks to Nick for leading) Nick Hawkridge