Our 2012 Bird Walk on Abbey Fields was held on Sunday, 6th May 2012 led by Colin Potter, Ornithologist. Celia Rickers reported as follows:
Colin Potter led the annual bird walk in the Abbey Fields and as usual we were nearly outnumbered by Woodpigeons. As we stood in the car park a Jackdaw flew over and the distinctive song of the Chaffinch could be heard. Colin took the group across to the brook and we listened to the calls of two Wrens and he said the vegetation by the brook was excellent for Wren habitation. He then tracked down a Blackcap singing in the trees at the back of the brook and we were all able to see it with binoculars and telescopes enlarging its image. Colin said only the males sported a Blackcap while females had a chestnut cap as did juvenile birds. Other birds seen and heard before we arrived at the lake were Blackbird, Magpie, Blue tit, Great tit, Long-tailed tit, Greenfinch, Song Thrush, Crow and Grey Wagtail. The ‘No Fishing’ sign is a favourite perching place for birds and Colin said the Gull sitting there was a Lesser Black-Backed, a species which used to be more common in the north of Britain but is gradually spreading its range. A female Mallard eyed the group with great suspicion as she manoeuvred her ducklings into the reeds. Some time was spent trying to see a Goldfinch in the trees bordering the road, but only the sharp-eyed ones amongst us suceeded. Rounding the end of the lake a Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen flitting through the trees,while a fleeting glimpse of a Jay was seen in the churchyard. Coming towards the church Colin pointed out a House Martin and Swift in the sky above us and drew our attention to a Goldcrest, which he had located by its call as it darted about in the evergreen.This was the end of a most interesting and informative walk and talk.