Tuesday 25 August – Old Down, Tockington

Nine brave members gathered at the car park adjacent to the football field in Tockington where dark clouds lingered ominously. We set off through fields of lush green grass where three juvenile Green Woodpeckers were seen hopping around within the short vegetation. We then wandered onwards through the small winding roads of Tockington where Robins, Goldfinches and a few Swallows were seen. In the fields beyond, a rock resembling a dead Barn Owl elicited much interest until closer inspection revealed its true identity. Before descending into the woods a pair of Meadow Pipits were flushed from the undergrowth and five Buzzards were observed soaring gracefully over the fields. The woods presented a welcome shelter from the light drizzling rain which became heavier as we made our way back through the lanes and recently harvested fields of Tockington. A garden feeder had attracted some frantically feeding Blue Tits and a Chaffinch, and a total of 56 Wood Pigeons were spotted grazing on the left-over grain in a nearby field. We wandered back to the car park through the woods where we paused to sample some juicy blackberries. Many thanks to David Tombs for leading this scenic walk. Hannah Meinertzhagen