2021 / 30
19:40 – 21:30
Clear, mild and dry. A beautiful evening, lit by April’s Pink Moon, now just two night’s away from full
The year’s first evening session. there are no reports yet of local Hobbies, but I expect the Woodcock will have been active for a week or so. I am early – still 40 minutes form sunset, but I want to enjoy the peace and splendour of the woodland this evening.
Breathe in the silence. Relax and restore in “my sanctuary”.
Plenty of birds still singing all around: Blackbirds, Robins, Wrens; Song Thrushes, Goldcrests and even a couple of Chiffchaffs. These songs rise from the trees as if each had its own voice, and its a joy to be surrounded by “treesong”.
A soundscape to explore. Therer are still Long-tailed Tits up at the top, in Chilworth corner.
20:42 and no sign of any Woodcock yet when I meet the first of four or five bats. Hunting Pipistrelles, up Where The Tracks Join.
The first roding Woodcock comes down from the west wood at 20:48, almost exactly half an hour after sunset. he flies dead straight along the treeline, over the gorse gap and out of sight up the wayleave.
Four minutes later two birds come bursting through that gap chasing each other. No a display flight, so I reckon probably different birds? As if to confirm this, what I presume is the original bird then comes back from whence he came, squeaking and squealing on his territorial patrol.
A second bird comes from the same direction, but then heads to his left, across the clearfell towards the high seat.
And back. Round and round these two birds go, each following the same circuit three, four even five times.
My walk back through the Wood up to the east end is a joy, lit by the waxing moon high and bright above the Middle of The Wood. A silver, bluelight casting shadows across the track which seems to glow in response. My own shadow passes between those of the trees. I am dancing, arms outstretched, spinning slowly
And another Woodcock, circling the east clearfell. Four birds. Three roding males and one (possibly two) others
Carried away by a moonlight shadow, with the trees that whisper in the evening…