Saturday February 5th 2005
Guestling Wood 0815-0945: 33sp
8/8 SW3 cold
I had a look at the north half of the wood (owned by the Woodland Trust) and adjoining farmland. Two new areas have been coppiced: a strip to the W of Watermill Lane and a triangle N of the WT car-park, which now has a good view down the upper Pannel Valley.
The main songs coming from the wood are of Song Thrushes & Chaffinches.
I was looking for LS Woodpecker, and heard one calling to the W of Pickham Mill. In the same area were 3 GS Woodpeckers, 2 Marsh Tits, 15 Goldfinches in the alders and 1 Woodcock.
Doleham 1000-1200: 39sp
The valley down to the Brede is actively managed for wildlife. This winter, numerous small scrapes have been dug in the strips of rushy meadow in the valley floor, while old outgrown hedgerows have been cut back and replanted. At present, few birds frequent the wetlands apart from a few Teal and Snipe, but in a few months they should b e very interesting.
Most activity was along the railway line, which is bordered by tumbled willows, hazel, hawthorn and ivy-clad oaks. This linear wood, flanking the valley, supports good populations of thrushes, tits & finches, woodpeckers, Goldcrests & Treecreepers. The only disturbance they suffer is the half-hourly trundling of the Marshlink diesel.
A flock of 40 Stock Doves was circulating in the area.