Yesterday we ventured out on a morning tour with a lovely family of 4, who were staying in the area.
It started to feel a lot like Autumn is on it’s way. That slight crispness to the air, the smell of dampness on fallen leaves, the mist hanging in the trees. There’s something special about the change of seasons. Maybe it’s the feeling that everything is about to change? The colours of the trees gradually fading to brown and russet tones, the movement of birds on their route South to warmer climes are all becoming evident at this time of year.
Our tour started with a couple of common bird species, highlighted by a smart looking Grey Wagtail, picking insects off the roof of the Rewild Project building.
As we continued our walking route around Woorgreens Lake, we spotted a couple of late Swifts drifting over. Swifts are our shortest staying migrant bird in the UK, arriving in June and leaving in August.
As we stepped out onto Crabtree Hill, we watched a couple of Roe Deer bound off across the track in front of us. At this point it seemed all the birds having a lie in started to come active. A pair of Stonechat perched obligingly on a tree close to us, allowing a decent scoping opportunity. As the sun came out it highlighted a couple of small light coloured blobs on the edge of the nearby woodland. A little investigation with the scope identified 2 Spotted Flycatchers warming up in the morning sun.
As we wandered further up onto the hill, we were greeted with a host of Swallows, with parent birds still feeding young in some of the smaller trees in the area. Being so close to them gave some great views of the behaviour. A handful of Willow Warblers and a couple of small, noisy, flocks of Linnet made themselves known towards the top of the hill, and a family of Stonechats including a couple of juvenile birds.
We stopped in at the Cathedral stained glass sculpture on the Beechenhurst Sculpture trail on the way back, as that’s always worth a look if you’re in the area.
All in all, a varied and fun tour with a great group of people! Why not come and try a tour for yourself?