Saturday, 16 June 2018

Guided Bird Walk in Amphitheatre Ciren Wildlife Group

Walk through Cirencester and see it with fresh eyes.

On an uncharacteristically hot and sunny bank holiday weekend, Cirencester Wildlife Group met in the Roman Amphitheatre for a guided bird walk, hosted by Andy Lewis from the North Cotswold Ornithological Society. With temperatures predicted to reach into the low 20’s for both Friday and Saturday the conditions were perfect, and true to form our feathered friends didn’t disappoint.
Friday’s walk began with an unexpected arrival, an Australian couple who had recently arrived in the UK and were looking for somewhere to stretch their legs.
“Aye, you’ll never guess what they are!” – Upon spying Andy’s binoculars.
Strangely enough they were both keen bird spotters from Adelaide and lucky for us they must’ve packed some Aussie sunshine! After a quick trip back to the car they soon returned, binoculars in hand.
After listening to a few songs and calls, and Andy interpreting the morning chorus - “twiit, twiit” nuthatch, “teecha-teecha-teecha” great tit, “tser err-err-err” blue tit – we began our walk.
It wasn’t long before we had our first guest, a great stotted woodpecker, which was heard calling long before it was spotted “tchick…tchick…tchick”. After sitting in the tree for a few minutes, no doubt wondering what we were all staring at, accommodatingly it glided down to a nearby bird feeder so we could all get a closer look – Beautiful!
As we continued on around the amphitheatre we heard and saw many different woodland birds: blackcaps, chiffchaffs and gold crest. We also heard lots of wrens, with their characteristic trill, as well as a few different stories about the birds of Australia. Apparently their robins really do have a red breast, unlike the dusky orange of their British equivalent! But their magpies aren’t actually magpies, think that makes us even.
All kinds of birds inhabit Cirencester!
Strangely enough, for such a warm morning, we didn’t see any birds of prey – that would have to wait until the following morning.
Saturday’s walk started in the same way, the only difference being it was a little warmer and there were no antipodean additions! "pink, pink” chaffinch, “oo-OO-oo” woodpigeon and of course the, by now, unmistakable trill of the wren.
It looked like this walk would also end without any birds of prey but just as Andy was drawing things to a close a sparrow hawk circled overhead and shortly after a long tailed tit flew across in front of us carrying a feather in its beak – a lovely late flourish to end two very enjoyable walks.
Thank you to everyone who came along, we hope you enjoyed it. And thank you to Andy Lewis for volunteering his time to support the Group. If anyone is interested in receiving notifications about upcoming events please email wildciren@gmail.com for details.
Mel, Huw and Scott
Cirencester Wildlife Group

P.S. there’s an open invitation to attend an Adelaide Bird Society field meeting, if anyone is looking for an excuse to stretch their legs (or spread their wings)!

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