Tuesday 30 August – Woodchester Valley Leaders: Di and Pete Bunniss

We gathered in the National Trust car park to walk down the valley, circling behind the mansion where the old stables once stood. Not many birds on this stretch but we saw and heard Chiffchaff, Coal Tit, Robin and a Buzzard. We continued gently downhill towards the lakes, Wren and Blackcap visible, to arrive at the Boat House, where we were met by James Gomery, the National Trust Warden for the estate. He gave us a very informative talk on the area management for wildlife, with the felling and removal of the conifers and reintroduction of native deciduous trees. While he was speaking, a Kingfisher darted down the pool in one direction and a Heron flew in another! After a relaxing coffee stop, with time or strolling around the immediate area, the route then led on along a board-walk fringing the lake and through a field of six docile Belted Welsh cattle. Lunch stop was soon reached and  we settled on the lake banks to watch more bird life. A flock of House Martins, Swallows and a few Sand Martins were swooping down over the water, a wonderful aerial display. Time for a leisurely lunch then a stroll back along the upper path, where we spotted the bird of the day, a Whinchat. Picnic tables and benches outside the mansion provided another resting place. Altogether 33 species. Thanks to Nick for keeping a record and to Di for leading. Di Bunniss