Tuesday 22 January – Coalpit Heath Leaders: Duncan and Pat Gill

33 walkers met at Kendleshire Golf Club. Our numbers were no handicap as we had seen three Bullfinches and one Greenfinch before leaving the car park, but we had no eagles nor albatrosses. Robins were enjoying the cold, sunny morning and we heard the first of 23 singing. Great Tits and Blue Tits were joining in and we had good numbers of both, the former showing their range of calls. Wrens were also starting to make their presence felt. Despite the lengthening days we are still in winter and we had a total of 93 Redwings, including a flock of 57, but there were no Fieldfares. Before we left the golf course we saw a Green Woodpecker with the thrushes among the birches on the far side of the fairway. The ponds had attracted the usual range of water birds with Canada Geese, Cormorant, Mallard, Moorhen and Coot on the list. Walking up the lane we came across 13 Long-tailed Tits flying down the hedge, and some of us had clear views of a Goldcrest on a bare branch, while a second was more typically flitting in and out of sight. On our return leg we were sorry not to see the usual Yellowhammers and finches in their long hedge, possibly because the field below had been sown with a winter cereal, and not left to stubble. However spirits were lifted by two Great Spotted Woodpeckers, four Jays, and a Treecreeper. Many thanks to Duncan and Pat for leading, and for arranging that the forecast rain stayed away until the end of this enjoyable and productive walk (34 species). Gareth Roberts