Tuesday 21 November – Hillesley Leader: Alan Craddock

A change of leader; from that advertised, a dull dank day, but 17 wasn’t a bad sized group to squelch our way round the thoughtfully provided route details (thanks Graham). A flight of white doves attracted our notice but were only a distraction from the tail bobbing Stonechat that showed very well. A few Skylarks called as they travelled east across the fields and couple of cock Pheasants strutted their stuff. Many winter thrushes flew over but not in any particular direction, with scope work required to count and check ID. As we drank our coffee a trio of Stock Doves winged over and our displaced leader appeared to wish us well before he departed for home. The first pond contained a nice Little Grebe, a clucking Moorhen, some Mallards, three white ducks and a beautiful ‘small’ greylag shaped goose. Up the hill a nice stand of conifer, Ash, and Alder contained Goldfinch, Redwing and a good number of Siskin. We crossed the stream, continuing uphill; and onto the Cotswold Way, where, not far on, someone spotted a Treecreeper, which was accompanied by Goldcrest, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Nuthatch – a fine collection. More winter thrushes continued to pass through as we headed home, with a final Great Spotted Woodpecker seeing us back to the cars. Many thanks also to the stand in leader, Alan. Nick Hawkridge