Tuesday 23 November – Hawkesbury Upton Leader: Nick Hawkridge

The mist and cold stayed with us all day, but being well coated and gloved it meant nothing to 24 walkers at
Hawkesbury Upton. The Chaffinches, Starlings and House Sparrows that decorated the roofs and TV aerials in
the village were keeping strange company – a Common Gull, so close that views of all its characteristic markings
were plain to see. The power lines were being examined by helicopter as we walked along Sandpits Lane. A
good outcome was the flocks of Golden Plovers and Lapwings that were flushed by its passing but a shame we
couldn’t hear a blooming thing when it made several passes. After stopping by Bodkin Hazel Wood for coffee we
watched corvids, plovers, pigeons and winter thrushes swirling above the trees, frantically trying to elude a hungry
Peregrine. A little further along the track Long-tailed, Blue, Great and Marsh Tits were seen, plus a copse full of
Chaffinches, a couple of Corn Buntings and eight Yellowhammers. With the count of winter thrushes nearing the
100’s it was good to get close up views from within Horton Court Woods, which also contained Great Spotted
Woodpecker, Mistle and Song Thrushes and a couple of flighty Bullfinches. The last count was near the cricket
ground – c20 Golden Plovers, roosting with a fringe of Fieldfares and Redwings. Our final tally was 40 species.
(Many thanks to Nick for leading.) Nick Hawkridge