Leaders: Terry Doman and Glen Maddison.

On a cold dry day, 18 members joined the leaders for a birding walk around Avebury. We had just started walking towards the Standing Stones from the car park, when someone spotted a weasel hunting in the grass near a hedge

Kestrel © David Hall

We continued through the village and down the track to Manor Farm, where the winter rains and large tractors had turned the track into a sea of mud slurry. It was not worth the risk of someone slipping and hurting themselves, so we were content to bird from the lane and abandon the slippery track up to Fyfield Down.

Tree Sparrow was the target bird at this farm and nest boxes had been provided for them in the trees, they had been seen there in past years, but not seen on the recce a few days before and not there on the day. House Sparrows and a large flock of Starlings may have displaced them. Red Kite, Buzzard, Rook and Wood Pigeon were seen as we returned for lunch at the car park.

On the recce the road to Barbury Castle was found to be closed due to road works, so Tom Rogers kindly offered to lead the cars up onto the downs to a car park he knew where we could walk along the ridge way of the Downs. This successfully rounded off the day with good views of Yellowhammer, Redwing, Raven and Kestrel.

Terry Doman