Ornithology meeting at West High Down on October 10th 2015

Eight members met at the National Trust chalk pit car park on an overcast morning for a walk led by Nikki. We took the path leading up to the side of the down to the west looking out for any birds in the hedges and trees. Along the way we noted Robin, Rook, Jackdaw, Chaffinch, Wren, Crow, Magpie, Blackbird, Jay, a female Blackcap, at least four Blue Tits together, a small party of Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Kestrel. Overhead we saw Swallows and House Martins, Goldfinch and Herring Gull. When we got to the top of the down we found the wind very keen and cold however, we spotted a male and female Stonechat and a juvenile. We were on the lookout for Dartford Warbler but perhaps the wind was too strong for any to show themselves but we did disturb a Short-eared Owl which flew off. Nikki took us over the stile on the cliff edge and on the way we saw Meadow Pipit, Raven and Wheatear. Pied Wagtail also flew by. We took the next stile over the fence and made our way back up to the top of the down and return to the cars rather colder than when we set out. 25 species were seen in all. Jackie Hart

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