Friday, March 26, 2010

Its been a much warmer if wetter week and as well as the slow-worms there are also several chiff chaffs singing around the scrubby edges of Scrag. They are one of the first of the spring migrants to arrive from Africa and I think I commented last year how good it is to think that these birds and their repeated off-spring, generation after generation, make such an epic journey to breed...at Scrag Copse!
As if in contrast, there were also many redwings and fieldfare calling as they worked their way through the canopy; these are some of the Scandinavian birds that winter here. So, we have birds arriving from Africa crossing over with birds preparing to set off for Scandinavia; as a beautiful corner of Sussex, Scrag truly is a cosmopolitan wood!
I have still been seeing woodcock sporadically; they are such secretive birds relying on their amazingly effective cryptic camouflage, normally the only view you get is a rear-end view as it zig-zags off through the trees. I have only ever seen one on the ground feeding undisturbed. I have also noticed that the other birds call in alarm as the woodcock takes to the wing; with its colouring and bulk, do they think its an owl?
Talking of owls, the female tawny is regularly at the entrance hole to the box; I'm sure the eggs are now laid!