Leader Lucy Starling

Seven members joined me on an unseasonably cool and dull morning in search of resident and migrant birds but at least it did not rain! With no sunshine, we encountered no butterflies or damselflies. I followed the route as published in my Walks PDF on the Bath Nats website.

It was heartening to hear Song Thrush singing close to the railway line near Hampton Row and in three other locations. Blackbirds, Wrens, Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Goldfinch, Robin and Blackcaps likewise were seen and heard in several spots and we picked up snippets of more than one Greenfinch singing, the best of the bunch by The George PH: its distinctive and loud “wheeze” note very audible. Sadly, there was not a single Chaffinch and only one distant Mistle Thrush which sang very briefly.


Whitethroat © Andrew Harrison

Greenfinch © Amdrew Harrison

The Bathampton Meadows beyond Grosvenor Bridge were very soggy close to the the ditch where I had hoped to hear and see Sedge Warblers back for a fourth breeding season. Nothing doing there unfortunately, but, with the winds changing from NE to S/SW, surely more migrants should be arriving into our area, including Swifts and House and Sand Martins  A fly-over calling Grey Wagtail near the Tollbridge, the “yaffle” of a Green Woodpecker and the shrill piping notes of a Nuthatch, as we approached Batheaston, added to our rather meagre species list. We stopped for a break and observed the small Rookery near Bathampton Mill. 

I was very relieved to find a Common Whitethroat in the brambles and other scrubby vegetation riverside below the river close to Batheaston. The male finally popped into view and sang vigorously. Here we also encountered our only raptors: three soaring Common Buzzard. The walk across Bathampton Farm Field produced no notable species. We searched the canal side vegetation for a resting Large Red Damselflies, but there were one to be found, only a few large Queen bees in the  flowers but little else.

Lucy Starling