Tuesday 30 June – Compton Dando

A group of 23 set off from The Compton Inn at Compton Dando on a beautiful summer’s morning. This was a new walk, although parts of it are shared with other walks that we do in this area. There were a good number of common birds around the village including House Sparrows, House Martins and Swallows with a Blackcap heard. After a very short walk to the bridge over the River Chew we were rewarded with a good view of a Dipper feeding in the fast flowing water giving ideal conditions for this rather special bird. It was a very nice start to the walk. We then walked through some pasture land bordered with woodland where a Buzzard was seen. The next part of the walk took us away from the river up a quite steep path through the woods where we added Great Spotted Woodpecker, Treecreeper, Song Thrush, and Nuthatch. We crossed a beautiful meadow where we saw a large number of Meadow Brown butterflies and a quite a lot of Marbled Whites. We reached Woollard and made a very slight diversion for another view of the River Chew from the road bridge. We had good views of an adult and juvenile Grey Wagtail and a pair of Bullfinches flew over, heading for a cherry tree. We followed the river upstream and saw a Mistle Thrush, a Grey Heron and an adult Moorhen with three juveniles. We had time to walk towards the church at Publow and at the third bridge over the Chew some saw a second Dipper and we all had good views of four or five Grey Wagtails. We turned round to head back, this time on the south side of the river and some had views of a Kestrel. Those at the front of the group had fleeting views of a Kingfisher and those at the rear also saw a Kingfisher. Those of us in the middle saw neither! Our final species of the day was a Redstart. Thanks to Nick for keeping his usual accurate bird list and we finished with a total of 41 species. (Thanks to Mike for leading) Mike Landen