Tuesday 27 February – Castle Combe Leader: Geoff Hardman

Eleven members met for our walk at Castle Combe, reputed to be one of England’s most beautiful villages. After tackling the complexities of the parking app we were able to set off on this lovely walk which led through the village, along footpaths, through wooded areas and open fields, past ponds and along quiet country lanes. From the car park we heard a Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming with Song Thrush, Greenfinch and Goldfinch also calling. An excellent start. In the village we soon spotted a flock of Chaffinches and four Bullfinches, though they seem determined to hide behind branches. Continuing onward we could hear Nuthatch calling and Redwing were
spotted. Leaving the village we stopped at a grassy bank where we had had our coffee break while enjoying splendid views over the valley watching two Muntjac in the far field. Our route then took us past an old water mill and through a field, where we saw Buzzards overhead, gulls circling and a Raven with its ‘cronking’ call. At the pond were three Grey Herons and many Canada Geese. Following the path around the field took great concentration as stepping off the path meant sinking into a morass inches deep! The return path was along a quiet country lane and footpath where the final surprise was a Sparrowhawk that flew up from the hedgerow and gave a short display of speed and agility. Thanks to Alan and Nick for keeping the impressive bird list of 41
species, and to Geoff for leading. Di Bunniss