Friday, March 13, 2009

I apologise for my somewhat sporadic blog entries of late; I have recently started phase 2 of a big woodpecker survey across Chidingfold Forest in West Sussex. It is actually a woodpecker hole survey and involves finding and mapping as many woodpecker holes across all the Forestry Commission owned woodland in the area. In this way, the trees and possibly the surrounding areas can be saved from felling. This is not actually to preserve woodpeckers as they make many holes through the year and always nest in a new one; instead it is to preserve the trees so they can be later occupied by 'secondary hole-users' such as bats. The area to be covered is great and the terrain hard. Combine this with the need for it to be done before bud-burst due to the visibility and it means I am spending as much time as possible surveying.
Scrag, however, is looking very spring-like at the moment with increasing numbers of primroses poking through the leaf litter. Hawthorn is just bursting into leaf; it leafs before it flowers, whereas blackthorn flowers before it leafs. There is a lot of pair-bonding behaviour among the birds with groups of birds chasing eachother through the canopy. As a reminder of winter though, there are still flocks of redwings and fieldfares flying over. One fantastic sighting on Tuesday was the lesser spotted woodpecker feeding and calling in the top of a birch! I wish it would come down to the feeding area.
In all spring is really here, very obviously now and heart warming; I just hope with all the other work going on I can enjoy it!

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