Tuesday 23 May – Wavering Down – Leader: Nick Hawkridge

The start up through the woods held Song Thrush, Willow Warbler, Chaffinch, with a shout from a few Chiffchaff and the call of Stock Dove, but the prize was a Treecreeper working hard for its family. The path was steep with well-worn and thus slippery stone, until we finally emerged from the trees to see Meadow Pipit, a splendid Linnet and a handful of Swifts slicing across the sky. The first of the Stonechats was seen as we continued towards the trig point, with more Meadow Pipits and one of the few Skylarks was heard. It took a while for all 22 of us to congregate at coffee time, each ascending the slope in their own good time, but ‘Old Nog’ flapped effortlessly west. Whitethroat were calling, offering splendid views and being very mindful of their territorial boundaries. We dropped onto the south slope of the down to head back where some Stonechats rattled at us for getting too close. The early finishers left us at Bourton Coombe, while the rest of us plunged down the path to the farm, with Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Whitethroat providing the music. The way back; past the quarry, along the easterly flank of King’s Wood, provided counts of the usual species, the yaffle of a Green Woodpecker and the ‘chip chip’ of a Great Spotted. A total of 31 species were seen or heard by all, on this particularly splendid day.
PS. Thanks for the flapjacks. Luke. (Thanks to Nick for leading) Nick Hawkridge