Tuesday 21 June – Velvet Bottom Leader Nick Hawkridge

Alas there was a traffic problem in Bristol so we lost a couple of car loads of walkers. Nine walkers – including
Simon, a veteran member but a new Tuesday walker, started along the path towards the Bottom. A Redstart
family was an immediate sighting, followed by Bullfinch, Raven, singing Blackcap and Chiffchaff and a
Yellowhammer. As the day heated there was an increase in fly numbers and, apart from Chaffinch, Goldfinch and
a singing Whitethroat, there wasn’t much else. As we paused for coffee, we were entertained by Stonechat, Song
Thrush, but alas only two Swallows. As we approached the turning into Kings Wood it was clear that barriers were
in place (Ash die back – danger of death), so we turned instead to transit along the back of the wood, where a
Treecreeper was seen and a Coal Tit heard. Finally on reaching our normal route, time dictated so we cut along
the road rather than up to the radio masts. At Mendip Farm we encountered a group of Stock Doves roosting on
the wood piles and a nice count of House Martins around the barns. Thanks to Alan Daniells for keeping better
records than me and getting us to 32 species for the day. (Thanks to Nick for leading.)
Nick Hawkridge