Tuesday 28 December – Snuff Mills Leader: Nick Hawkridge

The climb through the woods south of the river was noisy – the wind thrashing the trees and the River Frome gushing over the weirs. SO it was only a few tits, Woodpigeons and Crows in the tops, with the cackle of a Magpie and the squawk of a Jay being all we could hear. As 13 of us wandered along we were quickly overhauled by the walking group we’d met in the car park, where we had started the count with a Coal Tit and a party of Long-tailed Tits. Our coffee stop, as usual, was taken in Vassals Park but added, on our way, 50 Starlings, the first of our three Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Song Thrush and a vast train (40+) of airborne Jackdaw to the list. Alas no Kingfisher on the journey downstream, but we did find two pairs of Grey Wagtails, eking out a living around the man-made detritus littering the river. Finally, a few Mallards, mostly hauled out on logs, feet just clear of the torrent, a singing Mistle Thrush and one Grey Heron roosting in low branches. We didn’t see any finches at all during the day but the total of 27 species was not too bad. (Thanks to Nick for leading). Nick Hawkridge