Tuesday, 19 May 2020

To the Woods and Beyond!

Lockdown rules have been relaxed slightly and we can now take 'unlimited' exercise - not quite sure about this as people still struggle with the social distancing part! Anyway myself and my daughter were up early on Sunday morning to walk down to the woods, it's a 6 mile round trip, it was warm but a little cloudy so just right for the walk. Going so early would hopefully mean it should still be quiet as some of the paths are a bit narrow and lots of local people have discovered the woods during the lockdown and it has been busy.

As it happened it was fairly quiet, just a handful of dog walkers, all cheery and happy to keep their distance, phew!

It's a lot greener since I was last there, you can barely see out of the tree canopies at times and that was wonderful!

There is Wild Garlic and Cow Parsley everywhere, there are Bluebells though I think we just missed them at their best.

We saw a few bees going in and out of this tree

A Wren was singing right by our heads at one point and a pair of Blackcaps were flying around the trees. I have noticed the Nuthatches seem to have disappeared, I haven't seen one at all in the woods this year. 

Distant Blackcaps

The entrance to the next part of the woods had been yarn bombed with rainbows and flowers. We saw a young Woodpigeon by the bird feeders and on the dipping pond a female Mallard, I know a pair have been seen on the pond during lockdown but I don't think they've nested. Long-tailed Tits were in the trees and just behind a Whitethroat was singing. There is already talk of closing the dipping pond due to the lack of rain, things are starting to dry up somewhat, we haven't had any decent rain in weeks.


Long-tailed Tits


We walked down the Pit Hill fields for a little way, a singing Dunnock was at the start of the path. We counted 4 separate Chiffchaff calling, Greenfinch, Song Thrush, Chaffinch amongst others. The Hawthorn along the field is in full bloom and quite beautiful.




Song Thrush

Under the motorway to have a walk along the fields - off the official patch for the patchwork challenge but that doesn't really count at the moment. The Lapwings are in their usual spot and Skylarks were singing high over the fields, what a joy this was, I was beginning to wonder if i'd hear them at all this year. We saw more Greenfinch, a House Sparrow with white wing feathers, there is a Sparrow that visits my garden that has white tail feathers, it's odd to see the white flashes when they fly. 



House Sparrow

I saw Swallows, House Martins and Swifts, a Cormorant, a hovering Kestrel and back at the top part of the woods on another small pond a pair of Mallards.

It was a much needed walk and I was so pleased to be back in the woods again!