Tuesday 6 April – Newton St Loe Leader: Robert Hargreaves

The regulation six met near Newton St Loe’s historic church on a chilly but fair weather morning for our second meeting since slight “lockdown” easing. It was good to welcome Janet and Rosemary to their first Tuesday walk. Starting off to the sound of Greenfinch wheezing our route took us through the churchyard, down the grassy slope to the ‘Send-a-Cow’ charity buildings and the houses where bird feeders gave us Goldfinch, Tits and a gang of House Sparrows. On through the woodland we could hear Nuthatch, Chiffchaff and Blackcap (and managed to see some of them, too), then to the noisy waterfall and the Fishermen’s Lake where often Grey Wagtails and a Kingfisher can be seen – but sadly not today! Top Lake had a pair of Tufted Ducks, which is quite unusual. Coffee was taken next to the weir from where one of our members was excited to find a Grey Heron nest for herself! Retracing our steps and walking through the University round the back of the lake, our leader pointed out the second nest. We saw four Grey Herons altogether including the two on nests. The walk took us across fields to woodland where Spotted Flycatchers bred last summer. Just as we thought it was nearly over we heard a Green Woodpecker, loud and clear. In the woods Jean Oliver showed us the fascinating “Town hall clock” flower, a new one to most of us. Everyone wanted to make the slight detour to see where the Barn Owl nests in an old tree, then back into the village. We had been introduced to a very pleasant walk, one worth repeating at a different time of year and had 39 species altogether. Thanks to Robert for leading. Anne Crowe