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Birds of Highbury by Ron

Many thanks to Ron for the following photos.

Long tailed birds
Ringed neck parakeets
Ringed neck parakeets have become a feature of Highbury Park over the past few years.

Nesting in holes, of which there are plenty in standing dead trunks.

Long Tailed Tits

Highbury Park is well known for its variety of bird life, attracted by its diverse habitats.

Over the past ten years or so the park has been addressed with the unmistakable squawks and chattering of parakeets. Hole nesting birds, successfully breeding in standing dead trees  and during Winter 2015 a flock of six birds were seen cavorting the park.

Winter flocks of Tits and Finches flit from tree to tree, picking at the lichens in search of morsals, such as mites, spiders and grubs

The park contains a rich mix of trees and tree cover providing opportunities for many species to feed, shelter and nest.

Hole nesters
Three woodpeckers have been recorded at Highbury, the Great Spotted, most often seen or heard, as well as the 'Yaffle' or Green Woodpecker.

Lesser Spotted are less frequently reported but often seen amongst the mixed flocks of small birds that gather and feed in Winter.

Juvenile Green Woodpecker at Highbury

Tree Creeper

We were blessed with a good sighting of a Tree Creeper during our first Woodland Wednesday of 2016 (13th January)

Highbury leaflets, excellent interpretation from Friends of Highbury Park


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Highbury Park Friends January 2017 newsletter

Join Highbury Park Friends to get up to date information about this wonderful park - follow the link above for the latest newsletter.

There's so much going on already and this is set to increase as the Chamberlain Highbury Trust look to bring many new and exciting ideas to the Highbury estate and adjoining park land. Check out their website on the links below

Weekly and monthly activities incuding 'Woodland Wednesdays' with the Rangers and B&BCWT, supported by NIA (Nature Improvement Area) funding.

Woodland Play after school club, every Wednesday at the Orchard - Highbury Orchard Community Interest Company oversee this -

A visiting student from Virginia asks -

Q1 What do you think are the biggest benefits of teaching and using traditional woodland management techniques in city parks?
A1. The essence of a Ranger’s role is to engage the community at large with the aim of encouraging more people to use parks and green spaces. Therefore a range of themes, topics and activities are employed to meet the broad interests and diverse nature of the public, involving people of all ages, abilities, ethnicities etc. 
The ‘woodland’ theme seems to have universal appeal and is steeped in history, ecology, science, spirituality, mythology and culturally, much more.
So generally we can assume people want to learn something new, make something using natural resources and have an involvement in their local green space, so that a few basic skills, some knowledge and a morsel of understanding related to ecological principles allows people to feel good about themselves and enables them to share these good feelings, acquired skills and gained knowledge with…

Ecotones and Succession = TENSION

The term 'ecotone' cropped up this week as a Tree Officer colleague and I looked at Holders Woods in an exercise to describe the woodland structure, composition and current management.
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Ecotones are generally recognised for ecological richness and a good place to observe the 'tensions' and interactions between certain animals and plants.

A woodland edge for example is often regarded as the richest part of a woodland, especially if the edge is bordered by grassland meadow or water.

The Rea Valley in this regard is a wonderful mix of urban ecosystems and ecotones, and one of my favourite locations is the developing oak woodland at the edge of Holders Woods. Undoubtedly the result of acorn planting Jays, we find oaks ranging from year 1 to year 50, but with a majority of young trees around 10-20 years, sugge…