Eleven members met at Puttenham Common on
Saturday 20th November under overcast skies. After a short walk, we
arrived at Cuttmill Pond where three male Goosanders (IOC name Common
Merganser) were seen through the trees at the edge of the pond.
Approaching carefully, we soon had a very good view. Some of
the Group were able to see the serrated bill through the telescope which
gives rise to the name, “sawbill”.
Several male Mandarin Ducks weaved their way through the overhanging
bushes at the edge of the Pond. Through the telescope, we could see the
very different plumage of the female Mandarin Duck. Other ducks present
were Mallard, Tufted Duck and a colourful Shoveler. A
Kingfisher flew arrow straight across the Pond just in front us,
perching on the opposite side of the Pond where part of the Group were
able to get close up views through the telescope.
After this excellent start to the walk, we made our way to The Tarn,
another large lake where a Grey Heron sat high up at the top of a tall
tree. Two Great Crested Grebes were feeding on the lake. Walking across
a causeway between two lakes we noted Long-tailed Tit and
We climbed steeply to Hillbury, the top of Puttenham Common, reaching
360 feet (109 metres). A few members heard the call of Dartford Warbler
near the top. We paused for a well-earned coffee break with a panoramic
view. A Northern Raven cronked in the distance. On our way back down to
the start point, we came across a wandering flock of Goldcrests,
Blue Tits and Great Tits and heard a Bullfinch.
In 2.5 hours, we covered 2.4 miles, saw twenty two species and heard a further six.