Tuesday 22 June – Goblin Combe Leader: Alastair Fraser

We set off promptly with a Buzzard circling overhead. Blackcaps were calling from the trees beyond the car park, and soon we had added Wren, Robin, and Chiffchaff to the list. On entering the woodland proper, we hadn’t gone far before spotting more Chiffchaff and then a Spotted Flycatcher, flitting to and fro, probably taking food to the young. We watched quite a while so that everyone had a chance to see the bird, and we also saw a youngster, waiting patiently on a branch for the next feed. As we moved on two Goldcrest were seen in a nearby evergreen tree.  On the path in front as we headed off were two Bullfinches that fled before the main group had caught up. A large collection of twigs gathered high in a tree was very possibly a Buzzard nest. A very bedraggled Great Tit was spotted, the appearance possibly reflecting the effort of going back and forth through the nest hole feeding the young. Chaffinch were heard calling but not seen and Coal Tit were spotted. Moving on, disturbing a Roe Deer then bounded off into the deeper woodland, we climbed to the top field for a short rest. A Sparrowhawk was seen and one lone Swallow. The meadow has a wide area of Common Spotted orchids, Rock Rose, and wild strawberries. Coal Tits were seen and heard in nearby trees and a Robin watched us from close by. After admiring the terrific views and identifying a Ringlet Butterfly we made the descent, through quieter woodland. Nuthatches were heard, a family of four Chiffchaffs and four Great Tits were spotted, plus juvenile Blackcaps.  The finale, nearing the car park, was the bumblebee nest,  best left undisturbed. An excellent walk, with 24 species seen. Thanks to Alastair for leading.  Di Bunniss