Tuesday 21 May – Compton Dando

It was a beautiful sunny morning but not too hot; just perfect for a four mile walk with the hope of seeing some good birds. As 22 of us set off from the Compton Inn there were some common birds around the village, including House Sparrow, Jackdaw and House Martin. There were also good views of two Goldfinches along the brook that flows through the village. After a very short walk to the bridge over the River Chew a Grey Wagtail was spotted in the river. Then there was that tell-tale flash of blue and most of the group had a good, although fleeting, view of a
Kingfisher flying at great speed along the river. We added Wren to our list but we did not see a Dipper on this occasion. We then walked through pasture land bordered with woodland where we added Greenfinch, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Robin, Mistle Thrush, Blackcap (heard), Carrion Crow and an early morning Buzzard was seen. A Mallard was also seen in the river. After climbing a fairly steep hill we walked through a beautiful meadow where we saw, or heard, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Blackbird, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Pheasant, Song Thrush and Goldcrest. As we descended gently towards Woollard we added Sparrowhawk and Swallow to our list. On reaching Woollard we made a slight diversion for another view of the River Chew from the road bridge. We had our coffee break at a particularly nice spot by the river and then continued on towards Publow. We had decided not to do the detour to Publow itself, so we started the walk back along the other side of the River Chew. We saw Jay, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Magpie, Canada Goose, Grey Heron, two little Egrets flying and a Raven. It was good to have Mark join us for the first part of the walk and as he returned to Compton Dando, he saw a Nuthatch, so we added this to our list, giving a final total of 39 species, seen or heard. We saw two of our three target birds: Grey Wagtail and Kingfisher. We all enjoyed the walk which passed through lovely countryside and gave frequent views of the river. Thanks to Nick for keeping his usual accurate bird list. Mike Landen