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Birdsong Aug 2010

A stormy night in May this year resulted in the heavy growth of Alexander weed completely blocking North Down Road side path. While cutting my way through, having been completely abandoned by my fellow volunteer, I came upon cries from two young cyclists who were so completely stuck they had to be air-lifted to safety!

Happily a hot spell in June hastened the dying down of this unwelcoming weed, leaving the more attractive Cow Parsley and encouraging increased patches of Sedge by the path.

As birdwatchers know, morning is best for hearing birdsong. Here in this small wood there is a variety, from the very large Jay, the Blackbird, which can benefit from the copious cover of ground ivy to build its nest, the Great Spotted Woodpecker whose soft drumming I heard earlier this year, or to those tiny Goldcrest, the Long Tailed Tits which prefer to stay high in the canopy or to the reckless calls of the Chiff-Chaff which accompanies our walk - to name but a few - did I forget the Robin?

On another occasion, while attending to nettles, a frantic cheeping was coming from a tiny Wren which had fallen from its nest into the ivy; its parent was calling out - probably too many - instructions! A timely reminder that the large growth of ivy here provides an natural habitat for moths and other insects too.

 Joyce M.


Gatekeeper Butterfly