Tuesday 23 October – Blaise Castle Leader Di Bunniss

A glorious autumn day encouraged a group of 44 to come along for the walk through Blaise Castle Estate. We set
off past the mansion house and museum, heading down Church Lane into the grounds of St Mary’s Church.
There we sighted a flock of 17 Greenfinches plus one lone Pied Wagtail. The walk continued through the tunnel
and up onto Henbury Hill where Blackbirds were spotted along with the Robins, Magpies, Crows and Jackdaws.
These appeared throughout the walk. On the path winding down to Hazel Brook, keen eyes and ears soon picked
out the Goldcrest, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Coal Tit, Mistle Thrush, Wren and Long-tailed Tits. As we reached the
stream there flew above us a flock of Redwings, early arrivals for the winter. An exciting view of two Marsh Tits
was also noted in this area. On the steady climb up to the castle a Raven called loudly and was spotted flying
over Gorams Chair on the other side of the gorge. We reached the Castle just gone 11:00, so perfect timing to
pause and enjoy the morning break with plenty of space for the large group to find somewhere to settle. On we
went, Pied Piper fashion, to the long meadows of Kings Weston Drive. These proved disappointing, though two
Jays made a bold appearance in the undergrowth, scrabbling among the leaves for food. Taking the quiet Grove
Road back to re-enter the woods at a lower point, the group bringing up the rear were rewarded with a display
from a Grey Wagtail close by in the brook that appeared unconcerned by the many people who stood watching it.
And finally the Buzzard made an appearance, perched on a tree and remaining in good view while the group
passed by. Other birds seen or heard were Black-headed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Great Spotted
Woodpecker and Sparrow. All together 26 species. Many thanks to Nick for keeping a record of species seen.
(Thanks to Di for leading.) Di Bunniss