Tuesday 31 December – Frampton Cotterell Leader: Alastair Fraser

32 Tuesday walkers turned out for some post-Christmas gentle exercise and fresh air. Our leader, not as billed owing to an injury, was our Chairman, Alastair. He promised MUD – and this promise was kept! It was mild, calm and mainly grey, though there was an unexpected period with some blue sky and sunshine. First up were a gang of Jackdaws, then Great Tit and Robin and a Great Spotted Woodpecker seen by some. Carrion Crows came next and during the morning all the Corvids put in an appearance, Magpie, Jay, Rook plus a Raven being mobbed. Much of this wa lk was alongside the River Frome but a lot of the birds seen were in nearby fields including a very large group of gulls, watched both on the ground and in the air for a long while and estimated counts were 45 Herring Gulls, ten Lesser Black-backed, 20 Common and 300 Black-headed. Not all of the strung-out group saw all the birds on our final list of 38 species but there were some very satisfying close views of Goldcrest and Treecreeper and, as well as Blue, Coal and Great Tits, 29 Long-tailed Tits were seen. Blackbird and Song Thrush put in appearances, also 23 Redwings and ten Fieldfares, a satisfying dozen Greenfinches, some Goldfinches and a few Chaffinch, a couple of Wrens, four Dunnock and, on the more “watery” side, Moorhen, Mallard, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtails and Canada Goose. Only one raptor was spotted, a Buzzard. An excellent walk to see out 2019 – many thanks to Alastair for stepping in to lead and best wishes to Mike Jackson. Nancy Barrett