Trip reports

RSPB Bexley Group - walk Lesnes Abbey Woods

RSPB Bexley Group - walk Lesnes Abbey Woods
Brenda Todd

Saturday, 25 April 2015

After a week of seemingly unbroken sunshine it was a little disappointing to assemble under grey skies and a passing shower. Undeterred, 12 members joined Brenda and I and the Chair and Vice-Chair of Lesnes Abbey Conservation Volunteers, Tristan Boulton and Kim Ilsey.
We started looking into the pool in the north west corner where a moorhen made a break into open water. Whitethroat and blackcap were heard along with wren and robin.
We then made for the woods already aware that the hoped for abundance of bird song was not much in evidence. Plenty of common species were seen around the perimeter of the woods with blackbirds, chaffinches, woodpigeons, crows, a single goldcrest, blue tits, great tits and a pair of long-tailed tits plus raucous ring-necked parakeets. The over-riding highlights were the carpets of bluebells and wood anemone in the wild flower area. Once into the heart of the woods a pair of great spotted woodpeckers were seen with blackcaps and chiffchaffs the most vocal and a sparrowhawk flew over.
We wandered past "Casandra" the excellent wood carving and eventually found ourselves in the open heathland area. In the absence of many birds we took the time to look at the many plant species that were to be enjoyed.
Lesnes Abbey Woods is a fabulous local wood, the varied elevations not only make for some strenuous walking but also contrasting habitats. The history of the site was of great interest along with the knowledge that a dedicated group of volunteers keep alien species at bay to improve areas for native plants and birds.
Species seen: Grey heron, moorhen, mallard, sparrowhawk, lesser black-backed gull, stock dove, wood pigeon, ring-necked parakeet, great spotted woodpecker, wren, dunnock, robin, blackbird, blackcap, common whitethroat, chiffchaff, goldcrest, long-tailed tits, blue tits, great tits, magpie, carrion crow, starling, chaffinch.
Plants (not exhaustive) : broom, common gorse, dandelion, bluebell, wood anemone, wood sorrel, red campion, yellow archangel, white dead nettle, ground ivy, common dog violet, great stitchwort, wood forget-me-not,speedwell, heather, barren strawberry, hogweed, wild raspberry, lords and ladies.
Ralph and Brenda Todd