Tuesday 28 March – Brean Down Leader: Graham Blacker

In gale force winds nine sturdy members met at the Brean cafe. Before setting off up the steep steps we managed to pick out a couple of gull species along with a noisy Cetti’s Warbler then, making our way along the road past the bird gardens ignoring their exotic calls, we stopped frequently to identify various birds calling from the brambles. We eventually made it to the top, where we noted Mallard, plus c.50 Meadow Pipits along with a couple of Stonechat. We were told Chough had been seen the previous week but we were unable to locate any. As the wind picked up even more we headed on up the steep slope. Once atop the Down a few more Meadow Pipit flew past. We admired the 360 degree view in what visibility we had, picking out Weston-super-Mare, Uphill, Cardiff, Hinckley Point and the Quantocks, and of course Steepholm and Flatholm. We soon reached the end of the Down where the fort was built in the 1870s to protect the area from a perceived attack from the French Navy. We sat for our elevenses and soaked up the lovely view of the sea still seeing plenty of birds fly past. A quick look around the fort was undertaken before heading back along the north path and back down the old military road spotting Wheatear (our first this year) Raven, Chaffinch, Kestrel, Shelduck and a Little Egret. Back at the cars we agreed what a lovely day we’d had despite the weather, with good company and good scenery, and a total of 26 species seen. (Thanks to Graham for leading) Graham Blacker