Tuesday 30 March – Stoke, Eastville, Vassals Parks Leader: Rich Scantlebury

First, the sun shone, second, it was the first Tuesday field meeting following nearly three months of lockdown. It just had to be a good day – we were not disappointed! We walked through Stoke Park where we were welcomed by a cacophony of birdsong – Blackcap, Song Thrush, Chiffchaff, Greenfinch and Great Tit. On Duchess Pond was a Mallard with 15 ducklings whilst in the background Coots were displaying – a beautiful symbol of spring. Overhead, three Buzzards and a Kestrel flying on the thermals. Following a brisk walk to Holy Trinity Church at Stapleton we saw the resident Peregrine Falcon, plus two Sparrowhawk “gliding” on the thermals above. Then to Eastville Park where we heard Dunnock, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jay and Nuthatch. Two Willow Warblers and a Chiffchaff were seen and heard enjoying the spring air. For lepidopterists there were Brimstone, Peacock, Orange Tip and Comma butterflies seen whilst walking along the Frome Valley Walkway plus more Chiffchaffs and a Nuthatch. At least 26 bird species ended up on our list but Goldcrest, Dipper and Kingfisher eluded us. It was a good morning and an excellent end to lockdown. Thanks to Rich for leading. Trudy and Len Sheen