5 of us met at the village hall car park at 5.30am for a walk along the ridge to Winding Hill and then over the River Ash to the golf course. From here, back to the Ford and the car park. Grey weather throughout probably prevented some birds from singing and all in all, a quiet wander. A song thrush greeted us at the car park, along with chaffinches, blackbirds and robins. Great and blue tits were heard on Brick Kiln Hill, with a wheezing greenfinch and a noisy wren. A solitary bullfinch was heard as we approached Bush Wood whilst goldcrests called near Winding Hill. A blackcap called from the young hazels as we took a break to check the pond in Bush Wood. This also gave up calling great spotted and
green woodpeckers whilst yellowhammers, reed buntings and linnets called and flew overhead. A welcome break at Ash Valley golf club for coffee, bacon sandwiches and sloe gin helped proceedings no end. A little owl called near Caley Wood as did dunnock, piedwagtail and long tailed tit. More goldcrests were heard in Alder Wood before a walk done the 6th fairway gave us out only kestrel of the morning. Earlier a female sparrowhawk had been flushed, sending collared doves and wood pigeons to all points of the compass. A great tit announced its presence as the hawk flew northwards. Red legged partridges were noted on the bean field before a drake mallard completed the list on the Ash near the Ford. 36 species for the morning was acceptable, with at least 6 chiffchaffs being recorded. A particularly loud individual was heard from the bridge behind Lordship Farm.
Still missing the majority of the warblers and hirundines, perhaps they will be singing on the 2nd dawn chorus walk on Sunday May 4th, again meeting at the village hall car park, at 5.30am; all welcome.
Photo depicts the merry throng engrossed in botanical photography. A pleasant and peaceful walk in good company, finishing back at the car park at 9.30am.