Tuesday 20 October – Compton Dando Leader: Mike Landen

One member had to with withdraw from this walk, so five of us met at Compton Dando where visibility was quite poor but there was no significant rain and it was quite mild. We stopped at the bridge within the village but did not find either Dipper or Grey Wagtail on this occasion. On the next section we saw two Mistle Thrushes, with one perched at the top of a tall tree, giving us a nice view, and a little further on we spotted a Buzzard flying quite low over the trees. We soon added Herring Gull and Great Spotted Woodpecker to our list and, as we left the woods three Ravens flew overhead. We crossed a meadow which had been cut and saw a Jay (two more were seen later). A small flock of birds were identified as Meadow Pipits accompanied by two or three Pied Wagtails and then two birds flying at a medium height were spotted. In the poor light it was a little while before they were identified as Sparrowhawks and we all enjoyed watching them. Four Fieldfares flew over and then Chiffchaff, Nuthatch and Bullfinch were all heard. We arrived at the bridge in Woollard where we had a coffee break and also saw a Grey Wagtail. As we made our way out of the village we disturbed a Grey Heron which gave us a nice view as it quickly flew off and a Moorhen was spotted on the river. One member of the group was fortunate to see a Kingfisher but we were a little spread out at the time so the rest of us ‘dipped out’. As we made our way back across the fields, we were very fortunate to see a Red Kite. It flew almost overhead so gave us very good views and it had at least a couple of tail feathers either missing or damaged. Although it is becoming more common in our area it is still a nice bird to see. Our final species of the morning was a Collared Dove seen on the edge of Compton Dando village. It was a very pleasant walk with the weather turning out to be a little better than expected and we had a respectable total of 28 species. (Thanks Mike for leading.) Mike Landen