members of the Society met for this walk around Newton Park in rather cloudy
but mild, calm and dry conditions, good for both seeing and hearing birds. To
begin with, however, birds were few on the ground and even fewer in the air
until a brilliantly coloured male bullfinch was spotted, signalling a promise
of good things to come.
just where we had hoped we might see it, it was spotted, and we took turns to
peer at it through telescopes as it sat there, apparently unperturbed by our
presence - a Little Owl, sleepily hunched up in the crook of an oak branch.
After about a quarter of an hour, we moved on up through the wooded valley,
where Great Spotted Woodpecker, Siskins, Nuthatch and Goldcrest were seen
and/or heard until we came out onto the open grassland and parkland surrounding
the buildings - and building works - of Bath Spa University.
quite resisting the temptation to call out 'common crane', with reference to a
large mechanical object towering over the buildings, we walked back down the
valley towards Newton St Loe, accompanied by the 'Spring is coming' and 'I'll
sing this more than twice' calls of Mistle and Song Thrush.
total of 37 species of birds were either seen or heard by the party as a whole,
a reasonable tally given that it was in that “in-between” period, with winter
species leaving and spring migrants not yet arrived.
Chris Vines & Alan Rayner
Click on photos to enlarge
Some of Bath Natural History Society members on a field trip to Newton Park, Newton St. Loe, Near Bath led by Chris V. having spotted a male Bullfinch in a distant fruit tree. Click on photos to enlarge
Little Owl by Phillip Delve
Single male Teal
This Mute Swan spent all his time chasing off these male Mallard.
Fungal fruiting bodies of Coriolus versicolor (Trametes versicolor) also known by the common name of Turkey Tails.
Habitat on deciduous wood at any time of the year and very common. Not edible.
This is a very variable species and some authors recognize several forms.