Sunday Stroll

After considering various options I decided on a walk in the Kennet Valley. Starting from Axford, up to Hens Wood and then dropping back to the meadows along the river. The temperature was zero on leaving Chiseldon and minus four at Axford. The Kennet Valley is often much colder than the surrounding areas. Good numbers of garden birds greeted me and then a small flock of Siskins in the riverside Alders. The climb up towards Hens Wood gave the first of many Nuthatch and Coal Tit, also good views of a Green Woodpecker. A pair of Bullfinches were nice and then a couple of Goldcrest in with a large mixed flock of Tit’s was seen moving through the trees. A Barn Owl looking out of a nest box was a nice surprise and at then at around nine thirty the incongruous sound of a single call from a Tawny Owl. More Bullfinches and a single WillowTit were the last birds seen in the wood. Dropping down to the river, a a stop for coffee was interrupted by the squeal of a Water Rail. The bird was soon picked out at the edge of the river and watched feeding for around five minutes. ARed Kite drifted over and a couple of Jays were noisily moving through the trees. The regular small group of Mandarin were seen and also the pair of Black Swans which frequent this part of the Kennet.  Arriving back at the car the species count had reached a creditable forty.

A quick note about Hens Wood. This is a private wood that is owned by Ramsbury Estate. It is worked for timber and also used for shooting. Please keep to the public right of way.

On the way home a small detour at Draycott added a Little Owl enjoying the sunshine. Three species of Owl in the daytime makes a good trip.

Enjoying the Sun

Later on a late afternoon walk to Liddington with the dog. Again no Short Eared Owls but still a pleasant walk.

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