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Sunday Morning Bird Walk on 28 November

8.30 am to 10.00 am

Having been rained off last month, and with storm Arwen predicted earlier in the week, I was quite concerned we might be thwarted again. However, the morning was clear and crisp and brilliantly sunny albeit, very chilly. The leaves were now for the most part down, making viewing easier.

Julia Holland led the group of seven into the Flower Garden for a very successful morning’s bird spotting. There were several sighting of Jay, magpies a-plenty and of course pigeons and parakeets. Crows were all round and 2 jackdaws were heard calling. From the lake viewing point there were mallards, moorhens and a male common pochard. From the same vantage point a pair of gold finches was visible, through binoculars at the top of a distant bare tree, whilst a family of long tailed tits darted around a nearby pine tree. They stay together and travel round in jolly groups which are a joy to behold.

As we moved onto the path behind the azalea beds heading for the main deer viewing point the very tame great tits appeared, hoping to be hand fed, which I know happens (sorry TRP). As we moved on we got the first certain sighting of a redwing this season. This is one of their favourite areas. In addition there is an oak tree with some dead branches providing much interest to a greater spotted woodpecker. Robins and blue tits flitting around.  As we rounded the corner to the viewing point, the sun was behind the substantial oak tree and exactly silhouetted on the side of the tree was a green woodpecker. The sun light was coming through the red feathers on the top of its head giving it a vibrant red halo. I shall not forget that stricking image. The same oak tree has one of the nuthatch nesting boxes provided by the Friends. I hope that this and the other 2 boxes can be opened up soon to see just which bird did use it, a nuthatch or a usurper who had not read the handbook.

There was another viewing of a female greater spotted woodpecker before we returned to the main path to be met by a pair of Egyptian geese. By now it was 10 am and the chill was biting so we declared it a very satisfactory morning and went off to get warmed up.

Many thanks to Julia for all her time and knowledge.

Please note, the next walk is on Sunday 19th December, again meeting near the Blackheath gate at 8.30 am. The last Sunday would have been Boxing Day and so we brought it forward by a week.

Sue Yates