Tuesday 23 July – Little Sodbury Leader: Nick Hawkridge

A very hot day. I was surprised that 21 walkers came for a picnic walk and that only three people broke away to finish early. The first bird was a Magpie, followed by a party of mixed tits and Chiffchaff, with a Raven at the
top of a pylon sounding off every few seconds. A Great Spotted Woodpecker stayed on his bare tree perch all through
our approach to the reservoir, where we found Little Grebe, Kingfisher and some splendid Emperor Dragonflies. A small flight of Stock Dove, some Corvid and House Martin were around Horton village, with Green Woodpecker making a racket in the trees behind the school. As we headed up the hill for coffee at the Millennium Folly a mixed bunch of tits were studied, with the prize being a Marsh Tit. Green Woodpeckers put up a splendid display both visual and auditory, landing on tree trunks and ‘disappearing’ – just so well camouflaged as we sat in the shade of the Folly. A Barn Owl broke from the Folly, but was quickly into the woods; alas no picture. A few Rook flew over by the hill fort, a couple of Goldcrest were heard by the gates of Widden Hall House, a Whitethroat and, by the corner of New Tyning Lane, the Yellowhammer were singing, with a female showing briefly. Kestrel, House Martin and Linnet were close by as we took our lunch at Old Sodbury Church where the shade offered by the graveyard was most welcome. The slog back in the heat was punctuated by sightings of three separate Buzzard, another Jay and on the final approach to the cars, a Coal Tit. A total of 38 species was not bad considering that it was – did I mention this before – the hottest of days. (Thanks to Nick for leading – Ed). Nick Hawkridge