Archive for September 24th, 2005

24th September 2005, Saturday

Ashes Wood, Netherfield: 39sp

All through the woods you can now spot the rusty leaves of saplings, mostly birch, dead from the drought. A few larger trees are suffering too and the clay floor of the woodland has shrunk into polygonal slabs.
Small groups of Siskins are in circulation around the wood while other flocks are heading north, about 35 altogether, with 5 Redpolls.
Small numbers of Meadow Pipits can also be heard passing overhead but are dissolved against the brightness of the sky. Inside the woods, by contrast, it’s so dark I have to screw up my eyes to write notes.
Songs and calls of numerous Robins, Goldcrests and Great Tits blend with the trundling of London-bound trains at Mountfield, while the few Blackbirds and Song Thrushes cluck cowering in the dark birch scrub.
Water remains in the mill pond, but marginal reedmace and alders now make birds difficult to see. There are just a few Moorhens and Little Grebes, a single Coot. The stream that issues has ceased to flow: a Grey Wagtail fed at the mirrors of black water which alternate with orange pools of iron-fed goo oozing from the sandstone.
There are still quite a few Chiffchaffs about. 14 here were mainly around the pond, along with 2 Blackcaps.