Tuesday 30 October – Elm Farm, Burnett Leader Roger Palmer and Phillipa Paget

Thirty six of us set off from Elm Farm on a fresh, dry autumnal morning. Initially we went along a level track for about 30 minutes before turning right into the valley crossing several fields with adjacent hedgerows and woods. Two Roe Deer eyed us suspiciously from a nearby field. Early birds included a Green Woodpecker, Long-tailed Tit, Goldfinch and Chaffinch. Small groups of thrushes were seen at a distance before they eventually came close enough to be identified as Fieldfare and Redwing. The highlight of this section was probably the Yellowhammer which perched conveniently on top of a bush for all to see. Coffee break was taken overlooking the lower half of the valley where two Buzzards sat on top of two telegraph poles together with a distant Grey Heron. The latter part of the walk took us through a copse and an orchard at the bottom of the valley and then up the long lane which brought us back up to the farm. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen in the orchard and two Bullfinches, Goldcrest and a Grey Wagtail were added to the list. A Common Gull was picked out amongst a group of Black-headed Gulls which were in a field next to the stream and a few saw a Sparrowhawk as we reentered the farm. Throughout the morning Philippa updated us on agricultural developments on the farm whilst Roger told us of the wildlife changes, in particular the success or otherwise of the many bird boxes located here, pointing out one Kestrel box which had produced five youngsters this year. Throughout the morning we were accompanied overhead by lots of corvids and flocks of Woodpigeons not to mention several aircraft making their final approach into Bristol Airport. The final bird count was 36. Thanks to Roger Palmer and Philippa for an interesting morning. John Lees