Field Trip Report -14 October 2023 Marshfield

Joint RSPB/BHNS trip on Saturday 14th October 2023 to Marshfield, Wilts.

By Tony Cook.

Today’s trip was part of a replacement field trip as the original Ogmore trip had to be cancelled due to lack of numbers. Tom picked me up and we were the first to arrive, and while waiting for the others, Goldfinch, Woodpigeon and Blue Tit were seen.

16 members turned up and our first stop was in the very large garden of one of the Marshfield residents who asked if we would make a list of the birds seen in his garden. Unfortunately today was not the best of days to visit as we only saw fly over Rook and Jackdaw.  A large part of the garden has been planted with trees and here we saw Robin, Chiffchaff (I missed this one as I was looking at fungi at the time as in featured picture). Collared Dove, Pied Wagtail and Magpie were also noted.  Carrion Crow was another flyby and a Pheasant was in a field outside the property.

Having finished in the garden, we set off to Rushmead Lane. During the morning we spotted many Skylarks, some high overhead seemingly migrating, while others were feeding in the many fields. Two Stock Doves were seen on one of the many dry stone walls with a Grey Heron close by. Next sighting was a large flock of birds on distant wires and through Tom’s telescope we could see they were all Starlings, I would estimate 100+ birds. As we walked on a Raven flew over, we picked it up by its ‘Cronk’ call. We reached a place that was in a dip in the road which was a warm spot as a Red Admiral butterfly was seen and also a very odd looking fly which was identified as a Noon Fly.

Another member of the group found a Dark Bush Cricket, but the highlight of the morning was a small flock of Yellowhammers that contained 2 very yellow males. It then turned into a bird of prey spot with the next 4 species all being birds of prey, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and Red Kite being seen. The last new sighting of the day was a female Stonechat although others also saw the male and some even glimpsed a Wren. 

Walking back we found a Roe Deer sat at the side of a field. Our leader was a lady named Margaret who lives in Marshfield and at the end of the walk we were invited to her house for coffee and cake (parkin which was yummy) so a nice end to our walk.