From the Forest to the Downs

Today’s birding started at eight o’clock  with the WOS walk in Savernake. There was plenty of birdsong to listen to and a good number of birds to be seen. Nuthatch and Great Spotted Woodpecker were soon picked up and the first of many Chiffchaffs was heard. Five species of Tit were seen, unfortunately Willow wasn’t one of them. Near to Braydon Hook a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was heard drumming and was eventually seen by some of the group. I managed a fleeting glimpse as it flew off from the tree. At Thornhill, Siskin was added to the list and at the pond we saw good numbers of Toads. I had to cut the walk short here as there were things to be done at home. Later on in the afternoon my wife and I took the dog on a Ring Ouzel hunt on Liddington Hill. An hour or so of walking got around a dozen species including the usual Corn buntings and Yellowhammers. Single Wheatear and Stonechat were good to see but no sign of the Ouzels. Returning to the car we saw Robin Nelson watching the north facing slope of the hill. Joining him he informed me that there were five Ring Ouzels to be seen. We then spent the next twenty minutes or so watching four male and one female Ouzels feeding. As a bonus a Swallow, my first of the year was also seen. So what I always feel is the best sighting of spring, the first Ouzels on the Hill is now in the bag. An excellent day.

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