Trip reports

Green Lanes and Lippitts Hill walk on 15th Sep 2018

Green Lanes and Lippitts Hill walk on 15th Sep 2018
Ivor Hewstone

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Thanks to Rich for the write-up:

As fitting for the occasion we all met at the 'The Owl' pub on what was a pleasant sunny September morning. As we waited for everyone to arrive a Nuthatch called in one of the trees that lined the car park but remained hidden, while a small flock of Canada Geese flew overhead.

We set off leaving the road and entering onto a path that ran alongside the golf course where we heard a soft but high pitched song, it was a Treecreeper. We stood around listening for while trying to pin point where on the tree the bird was as they are so well camouflaged against the bark. Eventually we actually spotted a pair of these small, mouse-like birds as they 'crept' up the trunk in search for insects.

We moved on, crossing over the golf course and down into a lovely open green lane within the forest and paused for a while - sometimes when you find the right spot in a woodland habitat it's good to just stand still and watch and listen.
A Green Woodpecker shouted its 'laugh' like call while we caught a brief glimpse of Greenfinch as it flew away from us. We also heard another Nuthatch and this time we spotted this handsome bird which made up for the one that eluded us at the start. Its blueish upperparts and the buff orange underparts showing well in the sunshine as the bird moved along the lichen covered branch.

Carrying on through the wood we could hear the sound of Jackdaws calling loudly high above us in the canopy and also the tapping of a Great Spotted Woodpecker as it chipped away at the top of an Oak tree, perhaps looking for larvae. As we all looked up trying to glimpse the bird we also noticed some bright red fungi attached to an adjacent tree known as Beefsteak Fungus. This edible species will often attach itself to living trees but also occurs on dead and fallen wood.

We walked on and came to an open enclosure used for the Corporation's cattle (which were not present) and noted a late singing Chiffchaff. As we scanned the horizon we spotted a falcon, with pointed wings and looking rather swift-like in shape, we soon identified it as a Hobby. We watched this small raptor as it twisted and turned with rapid wing beats as it hunted even witnessing a catch in mid air of a dragonfly as it passed the prey from the talon to its bill to feed. Shortly after another Hobby came into view, so we now had a pair performing for us and as they moved closer we could make out more markings especially the white cheeks and half collar.

A Sparrowhawk and a Buzzard took advantage of the warming air as well and at one point we were watching all three birds of prey in one binocular view which was a good opportunity to compare size/shape and even their different flying styles.

After all this excitement we made our way back to the pub car park and sat and had some refreshments, a Goldcrest sang its soft song in one of the large pine trees above us and another Buzzard drifted overhead, a nice end to our morning walk.

Total number of bird species seen : 25

[More photos taken on this walk can be seen on our Facebook page at
https://www.facebook.com/nelondon/posts/2304795299765871?__tn__=K-R or click on link below]

https://www.facebook.com/nelondon/posts/2304795299765871?__tn__=K-R