Angela, Mary and myself (with Ezio the collie) set off along the Downslink this morning firstly enjoying the sounds of Great Spotted Woodpecker young calling from their nest and plenty of song from Blackcaps, Robins, Wrens and Chiffchaffs along the way. There was little to be seen from the wooden gate, so we headed on, and detoured into the field with the best view over the fields. From there we could hear Reed Bunting, Cetti’s Warbler, Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat and in good voice (if you can say that of a Reed Bunting?). There were Little Egrets and Grey Herons in the fields, Canada and Greylag Geese, a pair of Egyptian Geese and a lone Oystercatcher. Mary spotted a Red Kite in the distance, which then flew right overhead.

Further on, from the bridge with the metal rails, we watched a few Lapwings in the grass, then realised that at least one was a fairly well grown chick. A Grey Heron was flying a bit too near and the adults were trying to chase it away. At the heronry there were plenty of white blobs in the trees, so the Little Egrets are still sitting, however one heron which landed by the stream looked like a youngster. At least two pairs of Greylag Geese had goslings accompanying them.

Angela needed to head back to Small Dole, and after a consultation with Mary, we agreed to go back that way in the hope of hearing a Nightingale (which we didn’t), but we did hear a Reed Warbler, another Cetti’s Warbler and more Reed Buntings. Some Linnets called as they flew over and a Buzzard was soaring to the north of us.

Val Bentley, 20th May 2024