Tuesday 20 July – Velvet Bottom Leader: Geoff Harris

It was a scorching day for our walk and most birds were keeping well out of the heat. It was very quiet walking down the valley along the old lead workings but the butterflies were out in force. Beautiful Dark Green Fritillaries, a speciality in the area, Brimstone, Small Heath and Small Skipper. Towards the bottom we had a glimpse of a Redstart and a Willow Warbler. A Green Woodpecker we heard earlier took off from the path as we settled down for the coffee break. Long Wood was pleasantly cooler and mercifully free of the biting horse flies we had encountered in the past. We heard Nuthatch, Chiffchaff and Stock Dove and with a bit of effort, we found a Spotted Flycatcher family in the tree tops. Further along the path we found a second Flycatcher family, this one handily posing for us. Nearby we saw Treecreeper and Goldcrest. When we reached the road, nine of us opted out and went back up the road to the cars. The rest tackled the open fields across the road for the final leg of the walk and had Skylark, a good flock of Linnet and our third encounter with Bullfinch. Swallows and Martins were notable by their absence. Finally, we found a Whitethroat family around the pond by the old lead kilns before making our way back to the car park. Thanks to Geoff for leading. Judy Copeland