Trip Report 22nd January 2019

Seven people opted to go to Cary Moor early in the morning of 22 January. Sadly it had rained fairly heavily the previous night so the access drove was full of puddles. But nobody drowned and everybody enjoyed themselves despite the chill of the morning.
Almost immediately after arrival we saw a family of long-tailed tit feeding amongst the trees and shortly thereafter we found a mixed flock of finches doing likewise. This latter flock included Siskin, Greenfinch, Goldfnch and Chaffinch. We were hoping to find a similar mixed flock of Fieldfare and Redwing feeding from the ground in the fields adjacent to the Drove. Unfortunately we managed only Song Thrush and Redwing, and to call what we saw "a flock" would be an over-statement, since we managed only two Song Thrush and a few more Redwing - in separate places! One field did, however, yield a Kestrel in a distant tree. Apart from two Buzzard, seen later, these were to be the only raptors seen all morning.
Things improved for us as we reached a view of a plantation of undergrowth and small trees, where we saw an enormous, though highly mobile flock of Redd Bunting, including at least one male moulting into his breeding plumage. We also saw a mixed finch flock, probably but not certainly different from the one seem earlier.
Finally we reached the Nature Reserve which was our ultimate objective. There we found a Mute Swan, a pair of Gadwall and a Moorhen on a small pond, plus a Great Spotted Woodpecker (heard but not seen) and a Green Woodpecker (seen but not heard). We also found some House Sparrows far away from the nearest house.
Our return was a little more rapid than our outward journey, but the only new bird it yielded was a female yellowhammer. But our species count reached 27 - including a rather splendid Roe Deer! Providentially, shortly after we reached the cars it started pouring with rain. But we stayed dry and got back to Wells at about 12.15
The next meeting of the group is on 15 February - the annual group lunch. But later, on 26 February, we shall be going to Huntspill Sea Wall for a morning only visit. More about this nearer the time.