On the Downs

Christmas eve, all the shopping done and presents wrapped so time to get out and about.

Leaving home at first light to walk to Liddington Hill and up onto the Ridgeway. First bird seen was a Kestrel and then a Buzzard, not a bad start. With a chill wind on my back I made my way up to the Castle. Three Magpies,  a couple of flocks of Fieldfare and two Ravens on the way up. Onto the Ridgeway and a mile walk to my coffee stop with hardly a bird seen. I couldn’t blame them as the wind was not pleasant. Turning down the track to Lower Upham the birds appeared with many Tits and Finches, including a pair of Bullfinch. Back onto the fields along some game cover the birds continued with Goldfinch, Linnet, several Yellowhammer and a pure white Pheasant. At least 40 Skylark went up along the way and a Red Kite was working the south face of the downs. Finally a flock of around two hundred Linnets and a few Corn Buntings were added to the list.

Arriving home it was suggested that I took the dog out so off again around the bottom of the village. This extra walk added Common Gull on the green over the road and Goldcrest, Coal Tit and a couple more Bullfinches.

An afternoon stroll around Coate Water was pleasant with around fifty Teal and sixteen Goosander the highlights.

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