Walbury Hill -  Krōnk Krōnk    

In the south-west corner of the county, it's the site of an Iron age fort and is the highest point in the region at almost a thousand feet. Only a five-mile-drive from Hungerford it's an essential visit for county listers holding, as it does, the only reliable site in the county for Willow tit. But there is much more to the area than p. montanus.

The last site of breeding raven in Berkshire is not far from Walbury and in recent years there has been an increasing number of sightings of this giant corvid around the Combe/Walbury hill area. It may be that birds are drifting out of their breeding sites in Wiltshire but the "back and forth" activity over Combe I witnessed earlier this year may suggest something else.

The chalky summit of rises steeply to the south of the Kennet valley and is a magnet for red kite and buzzard - it's not unusual to see chimneys of a dozen or so birds. It wouldn't be too out of the ordinary nowadays to hear the krōnk of another large bird vying with the raptors for air space and who knows how long it will be before it's joined by the patter of tiny, black wings?

A visit to the Walbury hill area in early April would probably give you the best chance of finding a ring ouzel in the county and as the area is not nearly as well watched as the Downs' sites around Reading  who knows what other migrants you may find as they pass over and through this ancient site of British habitation ...

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