Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Under New management

Over the last couple of years I've paid a few visits to Captain's Wood, on Singledge Lane, between Whitfield and Coldred. To be honest, it had been a bit disappointing bird wise. It has some good old trees, as well as a lot of coppice, and looks to have the potential for some good woodland birds. In fact, so far I've failed to find anything other than the commoner species you would expect.

Today I was in for a bit of a surprise. The edge of the wood where I normally follow a path in is now fenced off and a large area has been heavily coppiced. It looks like the wood is now under new management. This opening up may well have good consequences. There is already a carpet of Wood Anemones and Bluebells over the open areas.

Even in areas which haven't been coppiced the Wood Anemones are prolific, I suppose the warm sunny weather we've had for the last couple of weeks has hastened their arrival.

The wood was fairly quiet, although both Great Spotted and Green Woodpeckers were around. I wonder when Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers or Nuthatches don't appear in woods like this?

The areas opened up by the coppicing, leaving just the old trees makes an interesting habitat, it would be really good if birds like Tree Pipits and Redstarts took advantage of it. I suppose this is all a bit too much wishful thinking, but I have resolved to pay a few more visits this spring.

One bird that can be relied on to be singing there is the Chiffchaff, but alas as yet no Willow Warblers. Two or three Blackcaps were also in full song, and there's still time for them to be joined by some other summer visitors.

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