An After Christmas Stroll
Well after the hub-bub of Christmas, I decided that a little wander on my local patch was in order.
It is an area of farmland with a couple of patches of woodland; the woodland comprised of oak, beech, chestnut, ash, hazel and alder with a couple of big spruce trees as well. Along the edge of the woods there are an abundance of brambles, hawthorn and blackthorn, as well as plenty of elderberry bushes.
was a lovely clear sunny day, albeit a little on the fresh side! Anyhow
as I entered the woods I was pleased to see a possible old acquaintance on the
little pond, a grey wagtail. I'm not sure if it is the same one as I've seen
previous years, however one is back after a long absence
Along the edge of the woods, I heard one of the Great Spotted Woodpeckers, after peering up for a while, I spied her having a forage, whilst keeping a lookout for predators. Over the past few years, I have watched them at the nest, the year before last though, the male disappeared part way through raising the young - probably fell victim to one of the local sparrowhawks. The female carried on feeding the youngsters and they all fledged; respect to her as until then I never realised how much hard work goes into keeping the youngsters fed.
Meanwhile, a few of the squirrel community were keeping an eye on me as I passed by, they have been chasing around the woodland after each other, so I think 2015 is going to see a lot more squirrels!
I could also hear the nuthatches 'pinging' their way through the trees, amidst chasing squirrels. There is at least one pair and if I am up there at certain times of the day, I can almost guess which trees they will be in. This is one of their late afternoon haunts.
I also saw muntjac tracks along the side of the field, often hear them 'barking' but rarely ever see them.
wise, much of the meadow on the north side of the woods is full of shooting
hogweed and there looks like there will be a lot more thistles, as these are
coming through as well. I was not surprised to see many leaf buds on the
trees, but on the row of willow, between the woodland patches, furry buds are
starting to appear already. Here and there, along the edges of the
fields, the brambles are already blooming.