Tuesday 31 January 31- Watercress Farm, Wraxall Leader: Alastair Fraser

39 members turned out for this new walk and were not disappointed! Starting at the farmhouse with an introduction about the site from Alastair, we first went to Watercress Wood where three Great Spotted Woodpeckers put on quite a display for us and loud drumming was heard too. On the bank of the nearby stream a Kingfisher nest hole was pointed out – a first for many of us. The early grey, drizzly morning turned into one of warm sunshine which helped identification for those of us who needed it. Along the hedgerows of the rough pasture fields were Stonechat and Yellowhammer, a distant Sparrowhawk and the first of many Skylark were heard and then seen. Moving up on the bridleway towards the railway, Fieldfare and Redwing were spotted in nearby pasture. As we continued around the site, we spent some time looking at a re-wilded field and its borders with an astounding estimate of 1000 Chaffinches plus Linnet and Yellowhammer and more Skylarks above. A large flock of Stock Doves were observed and a hunting Kestrel and then, at a field uncultivated for at least three years, more Stonechats, Song Thrush and a Buzzard. Near our finish there was still more to come with parties of Siskin and Long-tailed Tits feeding close by and a Kingfisher bringing the total of species seen to 32.
Many thanks to Alastair for a superb morning and introducing us to a wonderful place. Nancy Barrett