News archive

March 2007

Saturday, 17 March 2007

Male green woodpecker feeding on ground

Wonderful woodland walk !

Although the weather was unkind to us, with the morning starting off windy cold and dank, the birds had no option at Stapleton Wood but to get out there and start feeding! The wood was alive with the "Teacher, Teacher" call of the great tit together with more melodic songs of the robin and blackbird. The mixed tit flocks of winter had gone, replaced by small pairs of great, blue, coal and long tailed tits moving through the wood. We soon picked up the "kik" call of a great spotted woodpecker to find it hammering away at a tree looking for food, the first of at least 4 birds seen. A male nuthatch, sang heartily in a spot on a branch where the sun, now out, shone marking out his territory for all to hear. Surprisingly, we stumbled across a number of mandarin ducks sitting on branches of large trees in the wood - these feral birds which frequent an ornamental pond on the other side of the road were clearly looking for a suitable spot to nest. We we alerted to the presence of a green woodpecker by it's "yaffle" call and sure enough it soon provided excellent views as it perched in the branches of a silver birch. In the fields below the wood, curlew and stock dove fed. Finally, as we approached the car park a sparrowhawk flashed by looking for a meal in the tree tops. Not a bad two hours birding and back in time for a late breakfast!