Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Introduction to my Local Patch !

I have always been envious of those people that report on their 'local patch', recording the changes and state of the Habitat, recording wildlife sightings.

Then it hit me, I do have a local patch of sorts, I visit Ashenbank woods on a daily basis walking my dog, I'm interested in the local fauna and wildlife of the area, so why not adopt these woods and adjacent fields as my own 'Local Patch'

So in the absence of any other Blog, and if there is one out there I apologize for encroaching,
 I am not an expert, just someone interested in the natural world.

 This blog is based on my personal experience of my sightings, made on my daily visits.
 I hope to keep a running monthly diary of the changing views of the wood throughout the year.

This ancient woodland is looked after by the Woodland Trust at present.

I have been walking these woods daily now  for over eleven years, so I thought  I would start with some of the highlights the that I have come across.

Curiously the number of bird species seen in this time appears quite low, Sixty species at present, but my daily totals usually vary from ten to twenty species, occasionally throwing up something unusual.

The Waxwing irruption over the winter 2012/2013 reached Ashenbank woods around the Channel tunnel embankments and the adjacent Jeskyns park meadows, and was one of those nice surprises.

My Bird List covering Ashenbank Woods and adjacent meadows, glades.
Running Total to  9th March, 2015
  1. Grey Heron                                                  31  Ring Necked Parakeet
  2. Mallard.                                                       32. Waxwing
  3. Coot                                                             33. Nuthatch
  4. Moorhen                                                      34. Pheasant
  5. Carrion Crow                                               35. Goldcrest
  6. Jackdaw                                                       36. Blue Tit
  7. Magpie                                                        37. Great Tit     
  8. Jay                                                               38. Long Tailed Tit
  9. Herring Gull                                                39. Marsh Tit
  10. Common Gull                                              40. Tree Creeper                 
  11. Black Headed Gull                                      41. Reed Bunting
  12. Wood Pigeon                                               42. Yellowhammer
  13. Stock Dove                                                  43. Goldfinch
  14. Collared Dove                                             44. Chaffinch
  15. Green Woodpecker                                     45. Greenfinch
  16. Great Spotted Woodpecker                         46. Bullfinch
  17. Lesser Spotted Woodpecker ( once)           47. Robin
  18. Woodcock                                                   48.Wren
  19. Snipe                                                           49. Dunnock
  20. Tawny Owl                                                 50. House Sparrow
  21. Little Owl                                                    51. Chiffchaff
  22. Sparrowhawk                                              52. Blackcap        
  23. Kestrel                                                         53. Common Whitethroat                                      
  24. Buzzard                                                       54.  Siskin
  25. Blackbird                                                     55. Linnet
  26. Starling                                                        56. Swallow
  27. Mistle Thrush                                              57. Swift
  28. Song Thrush                                                58. House Martin.
  29. Fieldfare                                                      59. Skylark
  30. Redwing                                                      60. Stonechat                                                                                                                                   
                               Addition to bird list number  61 - Raven            ( 1/2/15)
                                                                              62 - Rook              (9/2/15)
                                                                              63 - Grey Wagtail (12/2/15)
                                                                              64 - Meadow pipit ( 3/3/15)
                                                                              65 - Pied Wagtail  (9/3/15)
                                                                              66 - Red Kite        (8/4/15)
                                                                              67 - Canada Goose ( 10/4/15)
                                                                              68 - Greylag           (10/4/15)
                                                                              69 - Redpoll           (17/1/16)
                                                                              70 - Wheatear        (13/4/16)
                                                                              71 - Cormorant     (21/4/16)

Some of these sightings have been pretty scarce, the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker  has been seen once only, the flock of Siskin seen once only several years ago, the Little Owl had been a regular  sighting, but it seems to have found a new roosting site, the Tawny Owl was seen once only in daylight, caught out in the open and being mobbed by Magpies,and Jays.

Little Owl
  Mammal sightings include the expected, Grey Squirrel, Rabbit, Weasel, Red Fox, there are lots of indication of Moles, and the occasional dead Shrew is found, I need to make more effort to identify some of these.
I have seen Badger tracks, but no Badgers have been seen.

Some of the Ashenbank literature states that Dormice are found here, but they are notoriously difficult to see at the best of times.

Butterfly sightings are one of my targets for this year,  Last year 2014 I stumbled across this White Admiral gliding around one of the sunny glades within the wood.
A Dark Green Fritillary was also seen in the so called Jeskyns Glades adjacent to the woods.

Ashenbank Woods are very good for Fungi sightings at the appropriate times, this fine specimen which I believe is known as Dryads saddle, was found last year.

I am also interested in Bumblebees, Bees,Spiders, Beetles, Dragonflies. All of which can be found here in abundance, just a matter of identifying them.
Bombylius major (large bee-fly)
Another unusual sighting for me last year was catching sight of  an Ashy Mining Bee, I hope to try and obtain a photograph of one this year, smart looking bee.

Spider webs in the glades, adjacent to the woods, 
Crab spider
This Crab spider does not construct a web
 but waits in ambush for its victims.

This is Ashenbank pond, within the area now known as Jeskyns glades, Ashenbank woods can be seen in the background, this was the sight of my latest sighting for the area, not particularly rare, but nice to see, and bringing the species number up to 60, 
 The Stonechat was seen over several days perched on the fence and within the reeds.

January 2015

So here we are now in January 2015, the woodlands looking pretty bleak at the moment, we have had some hard frosts.

This last week in January, some early signs of spring are becoming apparent, Drumming from the Great Spotted Woodpeckers can be heard most mornings, Snowdrops are blooming.

Early signs of spring - Snowdrops
Daffodils and Bluebells are breaking through the leaf litter on the woodland floor

Bluebell shoots
Signs of spring Daffodil shoots
First sighting of a Common Treecreeper seen for this year 28th January 2015,
Still lots of Redwing within the woods,
 Song Thrush, Blackbird, Robin,Wren are all quite prominent around the woodland trails,
 Great Spotted Woodpeckers drumming occasionally.
Still no sign of any Marsh Tits this winter.
Male Sparrowhawk trying to ambush Redwings in Jeskyns Meadows.
Nuthatch heard calling in treetops.

No comments:

Post a Comment