Monday, 25 May 2009

Jays, Damsel Flies and Unwanted Visitors

This weekend we had the great thrill of seeing a jay in Rainbow Wood. We have occasionally seen them when we've been on holiday in Cornwall, but to see a jay so near home was wonderful.

We also have lots of damsel flies with their bright blue iridescent bodies in stark contrast to the vivid green of the leaves of this year's spring growth.

The family of blue tits nesting in our bird box have succesfully fledged this weekend, too. We didn't actually see them go, but we are pleased to have been able to provide a home for at least one family of these beautiful birds.

Last week we also discovered that we have a crab apple tree, and it's fruiting. That'll provide lots of apples for winter birds that stay in the wood.

On a slightly more disturbing note, we had someone 'visit' on Saturday night and vandalise one of the ash trees by carving a rather stupid face into the bark. They also left us their discarded food wrappers and drinks bottle. We don't mind uninvited visitors provided they respect the space we have created and respect the trees and wildlife.

The last job of the weekend was to walk the perimeter to check for wind damaged trees and overhanging branches. All was well.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Bird Boxes

On our visit to the wood today we went to investigate the two bird boxes that we had previously installed - one on 'Middle Tree', a 70 years old oak, and one on 'the Faraway Tree', possibly 100+ years old. The boxes were installed back in February and the one on Middle Tree has a hole diameter of 25mm and the one on Faraway Tree has a 35mm hole. The boxes, which we bought from the RSPB, were put on the north side of the tree to provide shade from the summer sunshine (if we get any!!).

I am pleased to say that the box on the Faraway Tree has blue tits in residence. If they succesfully nest then next year I would like to install more boxes and put cameras into one or two of them.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

First Camp

Jill and I decided that Saturday night (2nd May) was a good night to stay over in the wood; with champagne and jacket potatoes in hand we set forth and pitched camp in what has affectionately become known as ‘glade 1’. (I’m sure we can find a better name at a later date!!)

It did rain during the night but we were warm and cosy in the tent. The dawn chorus from all the birds was fantastic – if a little early at first light (4:30 am).