Thursday, 2 February 2017

February 2017

28th Feb - 

Bright but cold walk around the woodlands today, but the birds were singing , Robin, Wren, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush all heard as I walked down towards Two Ponds, where I was met with the unusual sight of a pair of Mallards on the smaller of Two pond, this is a regular sight at this time of the year, probably prospecting a nest site, but they never stay longer than a day or two, the ponds are used by many dogs as a swimming pool. At least ten Jackdaws in the old nesting tree.
Other birds noted were, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Carrion Crow, Wood Pigeon, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Blackbird.
And the first wild Daffodil of the woodlands was in flower today.

22nd Feb-  All was quite in the woodlands this morning after a very windy night, I watched two Grey Squirrels chasing each other around the uppermost branches of an Sweet Chestnut tree, quickly joined by two more, as I watched  I noticed another three Greys all in the same tree, all very agitated, bringing the total to seven Greys all chasing each other around the top most branches, not something you see every day.
Bird sightings today included a very nice female Reed Bunting disturbed from a hedgerow, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren (2) Robin, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Kestrel.
The two Scarlet Elfcups were still on show, and a few examples of Jelly Ears around the woodland still.
Snowdrop display are at there peak and the Daffodil  buds are still swelling, not in flower yet.

20th Feb - Last few days of sunshine has encouraged the birds to sing, Song Thrush, Dunnock Nuthatch and Great Spotted Woodpecker all heard along the trails today, Jackdaws active around nesting tree near Two Ponds, small flock of birds feeding at the top of  the Silver birch were just out of identifying range, feeding like Siskins and Redpoll  , but  probably Goldfinch.
Other birds noted Wren, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Carrion Crow, Blackbird,
Magpie and Wood Pigeon.

16th Feb - Certainly feels springlike within the woodlands at the moment, a few more signs of spring with Bluebell shoots starting to push up through the woodland floor, catkins starting to burst out. At least three different Great Spotted Woodpeckers 'drumming' in earnest this morning, Song Thrushes singing from there vantage points all around the woodland, Great Tits , Blue Tit, Wren and Robin all seen around the trails.

A few absentees at the moment, the Stonechats have not been around these last few days, still waiting for the Yellowhammers to appear and the Little Owl has not reappeared at its traditional nesting tree yet.

Bluebells coming through.

Catkins bursting out.

15th Feb - Some warm sunshine for today walk, with rising temperatures, green shoots are beginning to appears all around the woodland, small clumps of Daffodils,  the green shoots of Arum maculatum  a common woodland plant species referred to usally as 'Lord and Ladies' or 'Cuckoo pint'  are pushing through the leaf litter in places.

Arum maculatum a common woodland plant  known as Lords and Ladies

Signs of Spring Daffodil shoots

Plenty of bird sightings today, Jackdaws prospecting holes in there nesting tree, a large flock of Rook flew over the glades, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Wood Pigeon, Starling, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Greenfinch,Wren, Robin,Blackbird, Song Thrush, Greater Spotted Woodpecker drumming again and a Nuthatch calling but difficult to see. best sighting today, were two Bullfinch disturbed from the bramble which didn't hang around for a photograph.


14th Feb - Pleasant walk around the woods today, with weather forecasters predicting some warmer temperatures, plenty of signs of spring now, Snowdrops have pushed through in some areas, a few clumps of Daffodil with closed flower buds, two Great Spotted Woodpeckers were heard drumming high up in the treetops and there were a few Nuthatch heard calling.

Found some Scarlet Elfcups today, the first this year which was a pleasant surprise after the recent forestry works, which devastated last years site where over twenty were seen.
 Never seen the stalk before on these, but clearly seen on the photograph.

Scarlet Elfcups
Bird sightings today included, Wren Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Ring Necked Parakeet, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Wood Pigeon, no sign of the pair of Stonechats that were seen on the edge of the woodland.

Song Thrush

9th Feb - Still bitterly cold and quite hard going around the woodland trails, no camera today as it was a bit drizzly, birds on show today included three Carrion Crow, Jackdaw and a few Wood Pigeons flying over the treetops, four Jay together in one tree were quite raucous, small Tit flock with a few Long Tailed Tit, Great Tit and Blue Tit moving through the trees. plenty of Robin sightings together with the low flying Blackbird and Song Thrush and Chaffinch flushed from the woodland floor., a couple of Wren sightings, out in the glades a Charm of Goldfinch feeding on the knapweed seed heads, and the pair of Stonechat were seen on the edge of the field close to Ashenbank wood.

6th Feb - Another cold walk around the woodland, Snowdrops still coming through the recently managed areas of woodland, I even noticed some Daffodil shoots coming through but still a way to go yet. Bird highlight today was a very fast moving Goldcrest in a Holly Tree, tried to get a photograph but each time it moved off before I could focus, a few Jackdaws, Ring Necked Parakeets, Blackbird, Robin and Great Tit were also seen around the woodland.

2nd Feb - Temperature's  moving up, recorded 10.5 degrees celsius today, but still grey and wet. As I walked  up the path from the car park I could here a Nuthatch calling, still waiting for a good view of this species for this year. a Few Jackdaws in their nesting tree by Two Ponds.
I noticed a few patches of Snowdrops coming through the leaf litter which have managed to survive the forestry operations, still only buds not fully opened yet.

Snowdrops just appearing

At least five Robins seen today along the trails, Blackbird, Jay, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Great Tit, Blue Tit all seen today. It was about this time last year the Little Owl reappeared in its favoured haunt, no sign this year yet.

Not much else to report really although I did notice some minute female flowers on the Hazel branches with the male catkins showing very nicely.

Female Hazel flower