From a friend
The greater spotted woodpeckers are telling us spring is around the corner - nothing makes me think more that it is nearly here than when I hear my first woodpecker of the season drumming. They have been doing so for about 2 weeks now, trying to attract a mate, you also hear them calling and may see them flying from tree to tree. All the other birds seem to be busy singing as well - robins, great tits... The other morning I heard a buzzard mewing overhead.
Sarah, 13th February
The woods seem very busy at the moment - despite the cold snap. We saw some violets out today, the honeysuckle is shooting and the hazel catkins are growing, getting longer every time you see them! Makes you think spring is around the corner!
The tables continue to be well used - there are always tits flying to and from the one near the bird bath. As I filled the old one in the car park the other day, the coal tits and blue tits sat above my head waiting to feed. I have seen a greater spotted woodpecker on the one in the car park as well. We had a lovely view today of two treecreepers near the Hereward the Wake sculpture on the main ride. The woods seem full of long tailed tits and great tits calling, and we have seen several goldcrests.
The woods may seem a bit muddy, but when you get out there all is worthwhile, especially on these lovely sunny days. Enjoy.
Sarah, 24th January
The bird tables are now really busy. The new table near the bird bath has had chaffinches and tits on it as I approach. This morning the blue and great tits were sitting above my head waiting to use the table as I filled the feeders in the car park. The squirrels have found the nuts as I have seen at least two on the tables. There also looks like deer hoof prints around the bottom of the new table in the car park. I have had several comments from people about how popular the tables are for both birds and people, which makes what we do really worthwhile. It is certainly really rewarding to put some food on the table and stand back and watch the birds.
Just about all the leaves have dropped now, and we are left with a carpet of orange needles down the larch rides. The woods seem to be lighter and more open with the loss of leaves and the bracken dying back.
Sarah, December 2006
Having had a few days away the autumn colours have now really arrived in the wood. The larch needles are falling like snowflakes, and the other trees are varying shades of yellow, orange and brown, the colours in the morning sun have been glorious.
The bird tables have been a bit quieter, although the great tits still sit above my head waiting for the feeders to be filled. There was also a wood pigeon on the table in the car park as I approached and soon as I moved away, there were great, blue, marsh and coal tits all nipping down to fetch nuts. A fellow walker tells me they have seen jays on the new table near the bird bath sculpture.
Sarah, November 2006
Autumn has definitely arrived in the wood, the sound of stags barking is a common occurrence this week and today we were lucky enough to see a good size stag, even if he did only seem to have one hind! The mornings have a chill to them now, and the bracken is going brown and dying back but many trees are still holding onto their leaves.
I started putting food on the bird tables a couple of weeks ago, but it is only in the last few days that the birds seem to be interested. We have a new table in the car park, which will have feeders this weekend, but the old table was being well used. As soon as I stepped away, a nuthatch flew down, grabbed a peanut and disappeared off - a really good start. Then the tits arrived - blue tits, great tits, marsh tits and a coal tit. All either on the table or the feeders. The idea of the tables in the car park is that the not so able can sit in their cars and watch the birds in the warm without disturbing them. On a sadder note we had a feeder disappear from the table near the seat, which is frustrating for the birds and the people who give up their free time to fill the feeders for the benefit of all.
Anyway enough moans, it has been a lovely couple of weeks up the woods, the mists of the previous week and the birds springing to life again, a real privilege to be able to enjoy it.
Sarah, October 2006
Sometimes you realise how lucky we are to live as close to Bourne Wood as we do. Due to other commitments I have been unable to use the wood as much as normal, but on Tuesday 13th, I had a lovely walk.
The weather was perfect, the sun shining, and it seemed as if every bird was singing. The most notable difference was the addition of the chiffchaff to the chorus. This is around a week early and filled me with excitement at the thought that spring was on our doorstep! There seemed to be 2 or 3 chiffchaffs singing, along with great tits and woodpeckers drumming.
The flowers are also telling me spring is here, primroses are out, and the pussy willows are opening. The dogs mercury looks so green, and today I see there are some wood anemones out.
This afternoon I saw the white tails of 2 muntjac as they skipped through the undergrowth, my husband had already seen a herd of deer this morning.
It is all happening and such a joy to be part of it.
Sarah, March 2007