Tuesday 31 December – Snuff Mills

 As my record book’s crinkled pages attest it was wet when we set out. Our first birds were a party of four male Blackbirds at a standoff atop a TV aerial. Nothing delicate could survive the roaring, white topped water as it dived under the bridge, although a Mallard pair had found sanctuary in a small inlet and a Moorhen not much farther off. Up the south bank of the Frome we eight marched where we counted one then two Jays and noticed the Tit families were making spring-like noises. Across the recreation ground towards the Oldbury estate were nine Carrion Crows on the ground feeding and a Song Thrush in full song. Once into the estate Black-headed Gulls – up to 60 at one time with a couple of Common Gulls – adorned the football pitches and posts. The hedges of Perrymans Close had many House Sparrows, ten counted but more were close by, with a Raven seen going fast over the pavilion heading NNW. At coffee more Jays were seen and then as we descended back towards the Frome a distant Green Woodpecker was heard and a fine male Great Spotted Woodpecker showed well. Little new was seen along the bank as we returned although one spot was alive with Long-tailed Tits mixed with Coal, Blue, and Great Tits and not far away a pair of Grey Heron roosted in the trees. Our final species was a Buzzard, stationary at first while he eyed us up before departing over the ridge. We were then back to the start with a count of 32 species.