Whitmoor Common 6 June 2021

Sixteen members attended this walk aimed at newcomers on a cloudy, unsettled conditions. We first visited the private feeders near the car park to the accompaniment of an invisible blackcap in full song. There we were treated to the sight of a juvenile great spotted woodpecker being fed by a parent. The woods were relatively quiet but keen eyes picked out a singing chiffchaff at the top of a tall tree. As we entered the heath a Dartford warbler flashed across the boardwalk in front of us a couple of times. In the middle of the heather we had our first sightings of linnets perched on the gorse while a distant stonechat put in an appearance. By this time rain had started and we hurried for shelter across the railway. There we found more linnets and a whitethroat while a song thrush sang in view. As conditions improved sightings became more frequent. In the distance four red kites, the only raptors of the morning, cruised in the air. Back at the start of the boardwalk we had a choice of very good views of stonechats and linnets perched on the gorse and of a Dartford warbler posing low in a silver birch.

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