Wey Navigation 7 March 2024

A cloudy morning with a cold edge, thanks to the easterly wind, greeted the fourteen members who assembled at the green in Ripley for on a walk to the Walsham weir and along the canal, returning though Wisley golf course and the woods. Little rain meant that, unlike a few days earlier, paths were not flooded and the mud was manageable. Around the parking area the usual large number of Jackdaws were chasing each other while birdsong from Robins, Blackbirds, Wrens and Blue Tits rang out in celebration of the new spring. At the start of the path two Great Spotted Woodpeckers landed in the trees outside Dunsborough Farm. Further along, in Walsham Meadows, there were two Mistle Thrushes, several Pied Wagtails, Meadow Pipits and a Lapwing. A Red Fox was also spotted. At the weir the water was very high and the noise deafening. Along the towpath sightings were limited. A Kestrel hovered over the meadow and a family of Mute Swans swam gracefully past. A Chaffinch flew into the trees while two birds perched high up presented a challenge until their eye stripes revealed them to be Redwings. Across the restored bridge a noisy pump on the golf club pond meant that the only birds there were Tufted Ducks, Coots and a Cormorant while out of cover two Buzzards took to the air. Other birds seen on the later part of the walk included Goldcrests, Long-tailed Tits and a Nuthatch. The closing treat was a Treecreeper in the woods near the Green. Species identified reached 41.

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