Tuesday 31 August – Upton Cheney / Swineford. Leader: Dave Body

On an overcast morning with a definite chill in the air 17 members met in the car park of the Upton Cheney Inn. Shortly after starting the walk, a Grey Heron was seen flying in the distance, followed by a Cormorant flying in the same direction and we also heard a Green Woodpecker. A little later a Greenfinch was heard. We saw a number of Swallows feeding over the fields giving us a reminder that summer is nearly over. The largest concentration was at our coffee break and the total estimate for the walk was 60. We also saw a small number of House Martins. As we approached St Martin’s Church, we heard the sound of Chiffchaffs and then saw three feeding in the tops of the trees, and by the end of the walk we had a total of nine, seen or heard. A Goldcrest was also seen. We joined the Bristol to Bath cycle track where we saw seven Rooks and a couple of Blackcaps were heard, but we did not get a sighting of them. By the river we saw a party of Long-tailed Tits making a total of about 18 for the walk. We also saw four Lesser Black-backed Gulls and one Herring Gull, followed by a pair of Collared Doves. Towards the end of the walk, we found a small flock of about nine House Sparrows. Some other species noted were Buzzard (two), Jackdaw (about 50), Magpie (15) and Carrion Crow (nine). We had a final list of 29 species. It was fairly quiet from the birding point of view, but it was a very pleasant morning’s walk.
Thank you very much to David Body for leading the walk and to Nick Hawkridge for providing a list of the birds.