Several people had dropped out of this week's trip leaving a very small number of participants. When I was picked up at Greengates there were only 5 on the minibus. I was rather surprised when one of the passengers hopped off as I got on, having decided the planned walk may be too lengthy. This must be the smallest ever BEES trip.
We proceeded to Harewood where Donald led a walk of about 5 miles. It was dry but grey as we set off. We have done similar walks in the past but this time we took the route in a reverse direction. The first section was through a wooded area where Stuart indulged his passion for tree identification. Our flower spotters were missing this week so the focus was mainly on birds and fungi. Treecreeper and Goldcrest were spotted in the plantation and John found some interesting fungi including Yellowing Curtain Crust. Others are yet to be identified. On leaving the wood we were subject to the moderately strong, cold wind. There were numerous red kites flying and one was also spotted perched at the top of a tree. A few buzzard were also seen.
We sat on a bridge wall to have our lunch as the sun finally broke through and a grey heron was spotted in a field alongside the stream. As we continued walking after lunch we saw red deer and fallow deer in the distance. Another Goldcrest put in an appearance along with a nuthatch and several long-tailed tits. We arrived back at the minibus early afternoon. Thanks to Donald for leading this pleasant winter walk and to Stuart for driving.
See the photos here.