LEE BROCKHURST

A wooded hill on the edge of the River Ro­den

Bird Watching (UK) - - Go Birding - BERNARD JONES

THIS IS A very en­joy­able walk which starts at an old­fash­ioned, red tele­phone box! You’ll see that the river is nearby so head there first in the hope of see­ing some­thing in­ter­est­ing. As you head up the track at the start there are some rocky out­crops worth check­ing out, then a lit­tle fur­ther up there is a way marker show­ing the di­rec­tion of the cir­cu­lar walk. The start of the walk is quite steep so take your time and check for such birds as Treecreeper and Wren and, be­fore you know it, you are at the top. Be care­ful of one or two steep drops but now you’ll see there is wood­land, pine trees and open ar­eas al­low­ing a mix of bird species. The Red Kite is seen more fre­quently now in Shrop­shire, so keep an eye on the sky and lis­ten out for it, too. The area of fir trees en­cour­ages Gold­crest and it is al­ways worth a lit­tle time spent to see if Firecrest are also around. At the appropriate time, Swifts are seen and Swal­low and House Martin, too. As you head back through an open area of grass­land, be­ware of any farm an­i­mals. Then head back into the wood­land and down a steep hill and even­tu­ally you come to some steps which will lead you back down to the track ans then back to that tele­phone box, again! At the end of the walk, don’t head for your ve­hi­cle straight­away – it’s al­ways worth check­ing the river again for the King­fisher. King­fisher and the reeds may pro­duce Reed Bunting or Reed War­bler.

2Then walk up the track to the left of the tele­phone box where one or two com­mon birds such as House Spar­row, Dun­nock, Robin, Blue and Great Tit and Black­bird get you started.

3Then take the way-marked track up the hill through the wood­land where there are Treecreeper and Nuthatch and oth­ers such as Jay and Great Spot­ted Wood­pecker.

And as you walk check the conifers for Gold­crest and maybe Firecrest. Patchy ar­eas for Wren and Lit­tle Owl with Tawny Owl pos­si­ble in the wood­land parts.

45Fi­nally, at the top of the hill, there is also an open area with good views and also the pos­si­bil­ity of a Red kite, Raven or Buz­zard. Also the Pere­grine lives and nests at nearby Hawke­stone so there is al­ways a pos­si­bil­ity of see­ing one.

As you fol­low the track back down check for those Field­fare, Red­wing, Mis­tle Thrush and more Black­birds de­pend­ing on the time of your visit.

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