After the Indian Summer experienced throughout most of September it was feeling autumnal for this month’s walk, with one person wisely deciding to wear gloves. The dry conditions, good visibilty and absence of wind made the Ashover Hay circuit a well judged choice by the leader, Paul Beard.
The low water level in the reservoir dictated a stop at Chapel Bay where three male Mandarin Ducks were spotted, although too distant to be seen at their best. On to Ashover Hay, to find that unusually-large mixed groups of small birds were busy in the hedgerows and scrub. A Green Woodpecker was put up here, unfortunately only being seen at close quarters by the first person in the group. The return route was via Clattercotes Farm, some of the party mistakenly thinking that the leader was only joking about having to pass a bull on the path across the field. Eighteen started the walk, and eighteen finished, all arriving back in close formation.
Special ‘thanks’ go to Jenny for her home-grown Discovery apples. Other fruits of the morning’s foray were: Blackbird, Black-headed Gull, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Canada Goose, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Coal Tit, Collared Dove, Common Buzzard, Coot, Cormorant, Dunnock, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great Crested Grebe, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Green Woodpecker, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, House Sparrow, Jackdaw, Jay, Kestrel, Lapwing, Long-tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Mandarin Duck, Mistle Thrush, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Nuthatch, Pied Wagtail, Pink-footed Goose, Robin, Starling, Teal, Tufted Duck, Woodpigeon, Wren, Yellowhammer. A total of 44 species.