Tuesday 26 August – Bridgeyate to Wick

 I can hardly contain myself. We started with Jackdaw hordes – their calls and fuss all around during the walk. There was a nice field full of approximately 80 Herring Gulls feeding with 13 Lesser Black-backed Gulls but by far the best was to get to a corner of the Blue Lodge estate and hear a terrible racket of Corvid versus raptor! What a raptor, a pale underwinged, tatty headed Osprey, who gave us good views before dropping from his perch and leaving away south westward into the valley and out of sight. This walk is one of those much favoured by Stan Wilmot and, notwithstanding the Osprey, gave all nine walkers splendid views of a Dipper posing mid-stream just above the bridge over the Boyd, near Court Farm in Wick. Kingfisher and Grey Wagtail were also there but departed before most of the party had arrived. So, after all that, even the masses of Swallows nearly taking our eyes out and the 300 plus flock of brown Starlings and the dozen Long-tailed Tits obligingly crossing a hedge gap to allow counting, and the fir tree full of Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs feeding voraciously could really match the Osprey. There was a total of thirty two species for the day. Many thanks to Dave Body for leading.