Wednesday, 25 May 2016

A Woodland Wednesday at Highbury Park

Another Woodland Wednesday and another day of discovery at Highbury Park. Jay's displaying but silently, Great Spotted Woodpeckers' feeding their young, a Jackdaw drinking from the stream, Blackbirds and Song Thrushes singing all around and not a peep from the Ringed Neck Parakeets.
Parakeet at Highbury 2014 (photo by Ron)

Woodland Wednesdays are the perfect way to hold consultation with parks users and there sure is plenty to talk about. On the whole our interests are biological but other factors are in play not least the exciting possibilities posed by the recently formed Chamberlain Highbury Trust.

cheeky Jackdaw came down to drink from the steam just a few yards in front of the group (photo by Ron)
A cool day, yet dry, so nothing to complain of, on the contarary, it was a day for standing around and watching nature at play in the park.

A pair of Jays danced through the Veteran Oak without a word or a squawk or a screech, but silently hopping and gracefully flying between the beams. It seemed as if it was silent aggression, possibly a territorial dispute between two males, but rather one sided with little demonstration and rather more mischief on the part of the intruder.
RSPB image

Little will be seen of the Jays over the next few weeks, as they secretly feed their young in their hidden nestaways.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Cannon Hill hedgerow

The hedge at Cannon Hill is in fine form for the 7th growing year since laying in Winter 2010
Alder buckthorn is thriving, providing food plant for the Brimstone butterfly

The width of the hedge is now around 2.5 metres, developing the habitat, which consists of more than the shrubs.

The density of the hedge, together with its shading and sheltering potential, currently makes it particularly suitable for nesting birds such as Blackbird, Song Thrush and Dunnock. Nests from previous years can be seen during winter.

As the hedge grows, and thus thins out at the base, laying will be considered once again, this should occur around 2020.

For a jolly good account on hedgerows this latest publication is well worth a read
Hedgerow fingerpost
Many wildflowers grow alongside and underneath the overhang - the last count recorded around 40 different plant species.
Hawthorn in bloom, May 2016

Friday, 20 May 2016

Ten Acres Revisited

late 19th century

Sections of the old river course are evident in places and the previous meanders are quite noticeable