Wednesday, 7 May 2008

6th May, Woodland Walk and Garden Sightings

Iffin Woods

A few hours this morning was spent walking around the marvellous Iffin woods, situated on the outskirts of Canterbury. The area of the woods where my efforts were concentrated is predominantly Hazel coppice with some stands of mature pine and deciduous trees, throughout the woodland are clearings of thick bramble ideal for warbler species. Bird species seen during the walk were, Treecreeper, 6 singing Blackcap, 3 Singing Chiffchaff, 1 singing Willow Warbler and a Garden Warbler. Many of the usual woodland species were also recorded including, Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tit, Chaffinch, Robin, Blackbird and Greater spotted Woodpecker. A few Butterflies were seen including Green-veined White, Common Blue and the rather smart Speckled Wood shown below.
Speckled Wood

A range of wildflowers were seen within the woodland, in areas where the absence of Bluebells allowed other species to flourish. Species recorded include Bugle, Primrose, Garlic Mustard, Lady's Smock, Lesser Celandine, Wood Anenome, Red Campion, Wood Speedwell, Greater Stitchwort and White dead Nettle. The discovery of some Yellow Archangel was only beaten by finding Common Twayblade, both of these species were the first i have seen this year.

Common Twayblade

Above: Yellow Archangel; Below: Bugle

Garden Sightings

The afternoon was spent revising in the back garden and lots of bits and pieces were flying around. An average of about 20 Swifts were hawking at any one time with counts exceeding 40 occasionally. A pair of Sparrowhawks appeared in the air together and throughout the day various attempts were made by each bird to catch something around the garden. A Peregrine soared over during the later part of the afternoon sending all the local gulls into a frenzy. Blackcap and Chiffchaff were calling continuously and all the other usual suspects were around. The best bits for the Garden today was a Hobby which appeared and chased Hirundines over the house for around 15mins and a Brimstone Butterfly, both had never previously been recorded in the Garden.