Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Patch Walk - 22 Feb.

A late morning two hour stroll around my local patch (Epsom and Ashtead Common) under a very grey sky so very little opportunity to take any decent wildlife photos. You will notice from the following montage that the City of London Corporation are currently undertaking a major maintenance of this important woodland in order to protect and restore the many hundreds of veteran Oaks. This involves crown reduction plus opening up the spaces surrounding these very ancient trees to reduce competition for nutrients and light. Although it looks pretty drastic at the moment, I am in no doubt, that all wildlife will benefit into the future.    


Sightings on the Stew Pond were Cormorant (1), Coot (6), Moorhen (2), Mallard (4) and Grey Heron (1). Around the woodland tracks I saw Robin, Wren, Blackbird, Blue Tits (25+), Great Tits (10), Long-tailed Tits (20+), Nuthatch (2), Great Spotted Woodpecker (2), Ring-necked Parakeets (3), Redwing (8), plus at least 6 Treecreepers all busily flitting from tree to tree so little chance of a really good close encounter with the lens. Once again I also located a flock of around 55 Lesser Redpolls but the light was so poor it was difficult to assess if anything different was mixed in with them. Scanning over the adjoining farmland produced Magpie, Woodpigeon, Collared Doves, Carrion Crows, Jackdaws, Starling, Herring Gull (flying over) plus a pleasant surprise to also find 12 Lapwings busily feeding.  

More rain forecast for tomorrow so may have catch up on some indoor chores!  FAB

18 comments:

  1. Quite interesting about the tree management.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's so nice to hear of a forest restoration instead of destruction!! Bravo!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Lois. It can seem like wanton destruction but without proper management the ancient woodland wouldn't survive.

    Hi Karen. We get things right some times.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good to see there is some thoughtful management going on there Frank. Fifty five Lesser Redpolls! I never seem to see any :(

    I wasn't quick enough to comment directly on your garden post but it was most enjoyable and lovely to see you have some colour. At the moment when I look at my garden I just see things which need doing! The Hellebores must be a real picture, they look so pretty in your photos.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nice collection of birds seen Frank. Can't wait to get a bit of sun back.

    ReplyDelete
  6. ...I like your little Treecreeper! How old are the trees...do you know? I loved the last photo with the gnarly bark...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Jan. Without this work the veteran trees could cease to exist in around 70 years at the current dead rate!
    Not the largest flock of Lesser Redpolls I've seen this year but great that ther are still plenty around plus food for them to survive.
    The first flush of blooms always makes the heart sing .... just need so daily sunshine instaed of rain!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks Adam. The forecast here isn't very bright!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Kelly. Many of the veteran trees (Pollarded Oaks) are at least 300 - 400 years old. There are over 2000 of which around 1450 are still alive hence the need for specific management to maintain this imprortant woodland habitat.

    ReplyDelete
  10. It's good they're trying to fix up the "Oak" situation. Once they're gone, they're gone, so now is the time to help preserve them. Nice Collage of photos too!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sightings on your patch today were much like a day on my patch Frank - but without the Coot of course :-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Frank -- that is a really impressive bird count. I would love to come back to England and be able to bird this time. (We went to London as tourists once -- stayed 3 months, but didn't have time to go out into nature much.) (I wouldn't have traded the experience, just wish we had more time to do it again ;>)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Totally agree Mona.

    Cheers Warren

    Hi Sallie. If you do ever make it over here again then let me know.
    BTW I chuckled at the signs you posted from your London trip ... there are so many that we tend to idnore them.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Frank
    Just catching up with every one's Blogs after a couple of weeks, love the Febuary flowers, and of course all reserves need maintenance from time to time and the benifits will be worth it. Many thanks to you both for your kind comments during a difficult time it was greatly appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Cheers Monty. Appreciate you finding the time to drop by.

    ReplyDelete
  16. It is nice to hear they are saving the forest. It does look like a wonderful place for birding. I love the cute treecreeper.

    ReplyDelete
  17. What a lovely walk in spite of the grayness.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Eileen. Hopefully the birds and butterflies will appreciate the changes.

    Hi Kathie. Definitely better than sitting indoors, whatever the weather.

    ReplyDelete

I hope you enjoyed your visit and I always appreciate your comments and feedback.

If 'Word Verification' shows up then it's a Google glitch. Just ignore it and click 'publish' as usual.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails