Sunday, 26 February 2012

Woodland Surprises!

As Dungeness was so busy yesterday and probably would be today I thought I might try to catch up on some woodland birds with a 5 hour plod around Orlestone Forest. I parked at Faggs Wood and could see that the lady who feeds the birds there had already been, as the tops of the fence posts, nearby bushes and picnic table were laden with bread, cakes and doughnuts for them.
Standing by the car numerous Blue and Great Tits and some Coal Tits, Nuthatches, Robins, Chaffinches, Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Treecreepers, Jays and Goldcrests were seen.
Leaving the car park and crossing the road into Longrope Wood a scene of devastation confronted me. It looked like the aftermath of WW1 battle. The upside to it was that as I scrambled across it I flushed 8 Woodcock.
Sensitive Woodland Management?
 Moving on to the track that runs along the south western edge of Longrope Wood, Great Spotted and Green Woodpeckers could be heard and seen drumming, a Tit flock came through with 15+Goldcrests, 20+ Long Tailed Tits and smaller numbers of Blue,Great and Coal Tits.
A bit further down the track I heard the unmistakable call of Crossbills  as a flock of 12 birds flew over and settled in trees about 100mts further on. With some careful stalking I was able to get some record shots of some of them.

 As I plodded further down the track 3 Nuthatches were chasing each other in the tree tops, 2 Tawny Owls were calling and a couple of Buzzards were mewing high over the woods.
As the track moved into Bayland Wood I heard a short burst of drumming which I thought was a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker  I stood and listened for a couple of minutes before I heard it again emanating from what seemed a long way down the track. Plodding further down the drumming was  was getting louder and louder, also I could hear at least 2 birds calling to one another. On the sharp bend in the track on north west corner of Bayland Wood I saw the first bird a male flitting through tops of the trees closely followed by 2 more birds another male and a female. They spent 30 minutes drumming, calling and chasing each other around the tree tops before they went quiet and I lost them. Sadly they gave me no real photo opportunities but it was a real treat to have such prolonged views of them. I will definitely be going back there in the hope of seeing them again. A plod that started out with little expectation turned into brilliant one.

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