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Churn – 15 February 2012

It was mild but windy when Martin Sell led a walk at Churn on the Berkshire Downs on 15th February. As the 15-strong party walked up towards the Ridgeway, singing Skylarks and Corn Buntings were heard and there were big flocks of Fieldfares, Lapwings and Chaffinches. A Hare was sitting up in the middle of a field of winter wheat. It waited long enough for everyone to get good views, before running away across the field. Highlight of the walk were 3 Short-eared Owls which got up from rough grass next to the track, then settled on posts on a nearby fence. A herd of 11 Roe Deer was seen in the middle of another big field of wheat, with some feeding and some lying down. The railway enthusiasts were able to reminisce about their last journeys on the former Didcot to Newbury line, whose route was crossed twice on the walk back to the cars. Everyone then went to the Red Lion at Blewbury for lunch.

Pictures by Ray Reedman and Jan Haseler