Tuesday 29 July –Swineford

 A Goldfinch in the car park gave a good start to a varied walk, enjoyed by 24 of us. It was again hot and sunny as we passed under shady trees by the side of a barley field and climbed to Upton Cheney, from where there was a wonderful view. Leaving the village some mature trees gave welcome shade and Goldcrest were identified. There was a lively flock of ten Mistle Thrushes, some of which followed us as we dropped downhill, looking towards Fry’s Factory in the valley. There was a pair of noisy Ravens in a treetop in the fields and two Buzzards soaring, whilst various butterflies, particularly Meadow Browns, fluttered on the brambles and nettles alongside our path. A couple of “late-to-leave ” Swifts were seen. Our coffee break was at Bitton church-yard after which Duncan had a glimpse of a Grey Wagtail by the stream. There were beautiful blue/black damselflies against pink Himalayan Balsam and a Green Woodpecker was heard. A Kestrel flew away along the hedge-line and Martins and Swallows swooped as we crossed a field. A few of us almost had to duck as a young Grey Heron flew low above our heads. We reached the busy Bristol/Bath cycle path, alongside the railway and were lucky to have the “Earl David “steam train chuff along with lots of children waving from the carriages. Moving along the field edge by the river we heard a Moorhen, before a narrow boat and a motor boat passed by. On the bank there were numerous Small Tortoiseshell and Small White butterflies and more damselflies. By the end of the morning we had noted 32 species – not bad for a hot July day! (Thanks to Pat and Duncan Gill for leading.) Sue Watson