Woodland Walk

I needed to go to Marlborough today and planned to do some birding after. I thought about heading down to Salisbury Plain again but as it started to rain on my way to Marlborough I settled on a walk through Hens Wood to the Kennet Valley. Parking by the A4 I headed along the footpath that runs right through Hens Wood. (PLEASE NOTE THAT HENS WOOD IS  PRIVATELY OWNED AND THE ONLY PUBLIC ACCESS IS BY THE MAIN FOOTPATH). The first bird seen was a Barn Owl that flew along the field margin on the other side of the hedge. I had been hoping to see one on the return part of the walk but was not expecting one at just gone two o’clock. Next was a Jay, the only one seen, of around a dozen that were heard. Also heard but not seen was the first of many Wrens. A mixed flock of birds moving through the trees contained Goldcrest, Coal, Blue and Long-tailed Tit. A Willow Tit was heard but not seen. A vocal Great-spotted Woodpecker was eventually located in the treetops. Coming out onto farmland at the far side of the wood, Buzzard, Chaffinch, Bullfinch and several Pheasant were seen. Reaching open ground overlooking the River Kennet I stopped for refreshments, Coffee and a Belgian Bun. A Red Kite drifted east, and the bird of the day, a Peregrine flew in the opposite direction. I had heard they were in this area but had not managed to see one here before. More Jays were calling as was another Woodpecker. A single Mute and two Black Swans were on the river, along with Mallard, Moorhen and Coot. A small flock of Fieldfare flew over and several Crows were flying north. Heading back into the wood a brief glimpse was had of a Marsh or Willow Tit, unfortunately it didn’t call so remained unconfirmed. Several more Goldcrest and Coal Tits were heard and in the distance a Tawny Owl called. Another Marsh Tit was calling but not seen and along the track back to the main road were a flock each of Fieldfare and Linnet. In all a total of thirty species were seen on a two and a half hour, four mile walk.

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