19 May 2016
2019 / 49
Very mild morning, a warm 12°C. Wind now moved WSW light breeze 0-1.
Cloudy with sunny spells
0700 – 08:45
Spring mornings in the Wood are full of rich green now, it is becoming closer, warming and embracing. By mid-summer, this will start to feel a little more claustrophobic no doubt, especially when all the birds have finished with their seasonal rejuvenation. But right now the air is clear and fresh, the cloud cover is high and the sky is full of air and hope. The oaks, birch beech ash and hazel all burst with new leave. There are delicate buds of new needles on the Firs and the larches are warm and verdant.
The grass in Q3 is long, thick and – this morning – cooling and slightly damp. Dog enjoys a roll in it at every opportunity, covering himself with dew, cobwebs and tiny seeds. It is these cobwebs that host the spiderlings that feed the baby Coal Tits – I have found a nest this morning, half way down the crossing. A dark cleft in a yew between two branches from which the sound of excited and hungry squeaking rises like water vapour.
The lifting sunshine and time of year brigs out the gastropods on these cool mornings – several large Black Slugs (Arion ater) are making their way radially from the clearfell across the sandy track to the woodland edge. They are habitually nocturnal and will have been feeding overnight, so now heading for cool arboreal shelter.
I am awake before most of the flowers today – just a few of the now plentiful Stitchwort are open, and noticeably those standing in the pools of rising light. The speedwell and cinquefoil are still sleeping. At the top of the clearfell, beside my sitting spot, one or two of the Foxgloves are just emerging into bud, matching the invasive Rhododendron in the West Wood for pink/purple colour.
Birdsong is all around now, and walkign down formt he entrance through the wayleave I am surrounded by Wrens, Robins, Blackbirds, Song Thrushes. Great Tit, Nuthatch, Dunnock. Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit – and Great Spotted Woodpecker. On the edge of the Upper Quarter, there’s a female calling and poking about in the bark of a bird tree. She chacks a warning, and flies over to a clump in the eastern clearfell. I am please dto see her – this species has been hard to find this year. Where have they all gone, and is there really only one pair in the whole Wood?