A look at the 1996 Kent Bird Report, that contained a brief county breeding atlas, gave me hope of finding one of my favourite species, the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, not too far away. Looking at the nearest dot on the map I took a look at some woods between Whitfield and Coldred.
Captain's Wood is a small wood with some well defined foot paths through it. It is mainly coppice with some larger trees and appears to be under active management.
The paths through the wood are attractive and, although it was quiet today, I did come across a pair of Coal Tits, as well as the expected Blue, Great and Long-tailed. A Great Spotted Woodpecker loudly announced itself, but I heard no sound or sign of any "Lesser Spots". They are of course notoriously elusive so I will try again later.Some of the trees have reaches a good age and, like me, have become gnarled and wrinkled!
Signs of spring are coming rapidly whith Catkins out and the first green shoots of Blue-bells pushing through.
After writing about Badgers yesterday I was sad the see this dead Badger by the side of Reach Road. At this time of year Badgers are getting active and although they are quite wary they are very vulnerable to fast moving cars. It doesn't cost much time to slow a bit on dark roads and watch out for these beautiful animals. The Mammal Society has published some figures for road kills in Britain; these are the estimates :- 100,000 foxes, 100,000 hedgehogs, 50,000 badgers and 30,000-50,000 deer. I've put some more pleasant pictures of Badgers and Hedgehogs in my garden here.