The sunny morning was perfect for an autumn walk. Sixteen took the wide track southwards into Appleslade Inclosure, rising gently through bright yellow and bronze mixed woodland with leaves falling, A twitchy Grey Squirrel, Robin, Blackbird, Chaffinch and Jay were spotted and a few fungi: Amethyst Deceiver, puff balls and Boletus sp. At the edge we turned SW alongside Red Shoot Wood and were soon out in the breezy, open gorse and scrub shared by Rockford Common (National Trust) and Red Shoot Plain (National Park).
As we headed westward to Little Whitemoor there were fleeting glimpses of Dartford Warbler, Raven, Redwing, Meadow Pipit, Stonechat and a solitary, pristine Red Admiral resting on gorse in the sunshine. Our path continued NW to a currently-dry stream bed beyond which we turned NE along the ridge looking westwards across bracken- brown and golden moorland above the Avon Valley to Somerley House. Turning N to a gravel pit we headed downhill through small trees to the Linwood road with a flurry of birds amongst abundant Holly berries and Crab Apples: Fieldfare, Redwing, Long-tailed Tits, Woodpigeon, Goldcrest. Apart from pesky midges the only insects seen were a large brown dragonfly, almost invisible against tree bark, a wasp and a hornet.