Tuesday 29 October – Blaise Castle Leader : Di Bunniss

The autumn weather stayed dry and cool as the group gathered for this walk through the Blaise estate. We passed by the mansion and took a short lane to the churchyard where a lone Mistle Thrush was seen perched high above us. From there we took the path out and through the short tunnel to emerge in Henbury field where sharp eyes spotted a Goldcrest darting among the branches. The trees along the field edge looked splendid in their autumn colours. Taking the path down to the mill, more birds were seen including Great Tits, Coal Tits, Blue Tits and two Goldcrest, whilst a bold Robin watched us with curiosity. On the edge of the stream was a Grey Wagtail, blending well with the background but showing a flash of yellow as it hopped from one stone to another. Following a climb to the castle (taken slowly, as it is quite steep) we arrived in time to find a perch and enjoy our coffee break where two Rooks were seen and heard. A flock of Redwing then flew overhead. I believe a flock was seen earlier in the walk… possibly this was the same group? Rested and refreshed we followed the path which eventually took us to the cobbled drive leading down to the top of Grove Road, which runs parallel with the woods. A little track led past a field with donkeys and back into the woods. Raven, Jay, Wren, Nuthatch, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Goldcrest had all been heard or seen by this point. Another Grey Wagtail was spotted in the stream and a flock of Long-tailed Tits in the trees. On the final stretch back to the parking area we heard the distinct call of a Tawny Owl. A total of 25 species were recorded. Many thanks to Nick for keeping the bird record. (Thanks to Di for leading) Di Bunniss