Sunday, 12 October 2008

Autumn Leaves

Things were very quiet on the birding front around St Margaret's, with most migrants appearing to have moved on, although a small flock of Tree Sparrows flying over the Freedown was good to see. Later in the day a Yellow-browed Warbler was found in the Pine Gardens.

In the afternoon I visited Admiral Wood for the first time for a while. Although many of the leaves have already fallen there are still enough on the trees to make it very dark inside although it was bright sunshine outside.

When I did come to the large opening in the centre I was aware of a strange high pitched noise above me and overhead a glider whistled passed. The Channel Gliding Club, in Waldershare Park, is right nest to the wood.

There were very few birds around, although when I got to the edge of the wood to look at the glider runway I did see this Jay go by. It was probably one of the local birds, but at the moment there does seem to be an influx into Kent, with sightings from places where Jays are seldom seen. It may be that in some areas the acorn crop is poor making the Jays move to find their winter food.
The sunshine penetrates better where there are stands of large trees, as opposed to the areas of coppice. Unfortunately the coppice industry is no longer very profitable and many of coppice woods are are left to grow, a much less interesting habitat than a well managed coppiced wood.

I'm not particularly good at fungi identification but I think these are Sulphur Tuft (Hypholoma fsciculare). If I'm wrong I be happy to be corrected.

The walk through the wood is almost exactly half a mile (with out diversions) and most of the time it's like being in a tunnel. With the ISO rating set at 800 this photo was 1/10th second at f7.1, compared to the Jay, in the sunshine that was 1/4000 at f7.1 at the same ISO setting.

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