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While field trips are suspended do share any sightings of interest within the BathNats area. Use the contact form and if you have any photos to share ask on the form for a direct email link to submit them.  Photo above  by Lucy Starliong.

Lucy Starling reports: On a beautiful sunny day with a blue sky and no wind, a wander along the old railway line starting near the Hope and Anchor PH into Wellow and back the same way proved very successful for bird watching.

Highlights, in an area close to the stables/café at the Wellow end of the cycle path and near the geological information board – male and female Yellowhammer, Stock Dove, circa 40 Skylark, circa 30 Chaffinch, 1 Greenfinch, circa 5 Goldfinch, 2 Meadow Pipit, 1 Pied Wagtail, 1 female House Sparrow, x 2 Buzzard.

Also during the walk – Green Woodpecker, Grey Wagtail, Jay, Raven, Goldcrest, Bullfinch and Treecreeper (heard only) and various tit species. Numerous Redwing, Blackbirds, several Fieldfare, including one standing motionless in a field close to the path affording us the most marvellous view of this beautiful winter thrush.

Good to hear 3 Song Thrush singing and see a female Kestrel that alighted close to a Song Thrush which then immediately fell silent. Will return here later this month and in January. Disappointed not to find a Stonechat, Mistle Thrush or a Red Kite, maybe next time?

Wellow and Midford walk © Lucy Starling

Wellow and Midford walk © Lucy Starling

On Christmas Eve, a repeat of the walk between Midford Hope and Anchor PH area to Wellow village. Sadly, no Yellowhammers and no large numbers of Chaffinch as there were on 1st December. Food source at bottom of field clearly all gone. Other species again present – Stock Dove, Redwings and Fieldfare in large numbers and good to find 2 pairs of Mistle Thrush and a Marsh Tit.

However, highlight was undoubtedly the totally unexpected sight of a Merlin in hot pursuit of Redwings. I had heard the flight call of Skylarks when suddenly all the birds on the ground, mainly Redwing and Fieldfare and a few Starlings, all took flight as the little falcon entered stage right. Saw the falcon for some 20 seconds before it and the prey it was chasing disappeared over the field ridge on the horizon. It would be great if this bird has found a good source of food here and will remain in this patch for a while. Worth another visit or two for sure.