Having had to postpone this walk from last year due to Covid, this year we were rewarded with excellent weather – bright, but initially chilly. Covid rules limited our party to a maximum of 6, and 5 of us gathered at Eagle House, Northend at 10am, for a walk along St Catherine’s Brook and back.
We walked down to the bridge at the bottom of Steway Lane and, once through the gate on the left, there was plenty to be seen along the footpath beside the brook. The dry weather meant that the walk was easy going, as very often the first few yards can be boggy.
Woodpeckers had been busy along the stream and we saw many holes in the trees, some quite fresh. We saw a Great Spotted Woodpecker and throughout the walk we heard drumming and the occasional ‘Yaffle’ of a Green Woodpecker.
As it grew warmer a few butterflies appeared – Peacocks, Brimstones, and Lesser Tortoiseshells but, sadly no Orange Tips. Black-edged bee flies were soon to be seen in abundance.
Snakeshead fritillaries were seen in a field close by the brook. It was suspected that they were planted, rather than naturally seeded, but their appearance was very welcome nonetheless.
A Grey Wagtail perched by the stream for just long enough to be photographed, but the majority of birds we came across seemed adept at avoiding cameras and several were heard but not seen.
Clare Herbert and John Rawles
Bird species noted (in addition to those already mentioned):
Lesser black-backed gull