30 November 2018

2018 / 81

Mild afternoon – cloudy with bright spells. 11°C

13:45 – 15:30

Robert Macfarlane- Words of the day: “lower”, “lour” – of a weather-front, sky, facial expression or looming future event; to be sullen, menacing or scowling in appearance; to presage trouble. Cf early modern Dutch “loeren”, to frown or knit the brows, & German “lauern”, to lie in wait.

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Storm clouds rolling over the cleared area

Took a route through the southern woodland this afternoon, and rather predictably saw very little birdlife. Only Wrens, Robins and a few Blue Tits active. This is the least active part of the wood due to its proximity to the motorway. Late November, and mid-afternoon.

I did come across another camp though, and evidence that the wooden ‘skate ramp’ construction has been more or less completely dismantled. There is a lot of litter in the area too, lining the well used path that leads to the tent, so whoever is there has been resident some time. They have chairs, a washing line – and a golf bag?

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This photo shows the striking absence of understory in this area, which also makes it quite unique in the Wood.

From the top of the Crossing, I walked down halfway and into Firecrest Alley for a change. It was mostly dull and gloomy here, and as devoid of birds as everywhere else. Coal Tits and Bullfinch heard. At the bottom, beside the stream that marks the edge of the wood, I disturbed a female Roe Deer that headed at high speed out into the middle.
At this time of year, with the vegetation receding, everything seems more open and paths appear that have hitherto not been very obvious. It is clear that ‘someone’ is regularly using this route and walking form here out across the cleared area. I almost never go on there myself, and decline to do so in most circumstances.
Nevertheless, there is clear evidence that it is well used, as the grass is cut back and the crossing over the stream has been cleared that I have not seen all year:

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Heard a Pheasant from here, and a Siskin flew over.

Up at the viewpoint, I was delighted to reconnect with the cap I left behind last week. Just a handful of Greenfinch and Chaffinch moving about, and two Mistle Thrushes.
A large flock of 200 corvids moved along the northern perimeter – mixed Rooks and less Jackdaws.
Altogether, just 23 bird species recorded this afternoon.

The weather is confusing everything. In the west, there are new catkins!

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And a few more artistic photographs:

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