Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Our Premier Woodland

Willow Tit
Willow Warbler
Tiger Beetle
An Intimate Coupling
Watched by an appreciative audience
Seen enough yet? (c) 2009 Aileen Urquhart
Speckled Wood
Another glorious day, and this time we visited our region's premier woodland. The summer visitors still seemed a bit thin on the ground. Yes, there were Willow Warblers, Blackcaps & Chiffchaffs, but not in the unusual densities. Perhaps, this is the result of 2 consecutive poor breeding years, or could it be they haven't all arrived yet? Both Marsh Tit and Willow Tit were heard singing today, but only the Willow posed for pictures. The highlight of the morning was the confiding Goldcrest, which came very close to serenade us; whilst in the morning we had a 2 minute fly-past by one of our finest summer songsters. We had good views of Treecreepers in the morning, and a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew out of its recently-excavated nest-hole, but in the afternoon we could hear its green cousin laughing at our inability to see it. Anthony spotted a Grass Snake emerging from a water-filled ditch in the morning; whilst in the afternoon Alec disovered a Fox trotting round the edge of a line of trees in the strong sunlight. The wild flowers were glorious: Bluebells, Wood Sorrel, Greater Stitchwort, Primroses, Dog Violet & Wild Strawberry & the fresh green of the emerging leaves lifted everyone's spirits. It will be interesting to see if the number of summer visitors increases at all in subsequent weeks.

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