Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Bird listening (not watching)

There are times when you don't see birds, but hear them, and today was one of those days. A walk in the woods at Chilham brought plenty of birdsong but few clear sightings. Only Goldcrests, Robins, Coal, Blue and Great Tits were easy to see, while the calls of Nuthatch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Marsh Tits and (at 10.30am in bright sunshine) Tawny Owl were not complemented by views.The most enigmatic bird was, however, a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, which drummed frequently on at least three posts, but despite my careful approach and patient waits (a pheasant walked over my foot, squirrels fed from my hands - well, almost) I could not get a glimpse.
The sound was pleasing enough, though, as I had never heard one drumming, and it sounds quite different to the Great Spot - softer, longer (2 - 3 seconds at a time) and quieter, so you're actually closer than you first think.
Hole in a Silver Birch, made presumably by a Great Spotted Pecker.

On the way home, a quick walk through Captain's Wood to see if similar LSW drumming could be heard, but no luck - however, Wood Anemones are starting to emerge....
....and the ground is covered with the small leaves of Lesser Celandines, with the occasional early flower.
The one below with mottled leaves looked so perfect I had to feel it, to make sure it wasn't made of silk. It has 10 petals, while the one above has 12 - apparently they do vary, but without photos I'd never noticed.


Mary said...

I'm always impressed by people who can identify the sounds of birds. I hear them sing, but don't know their voices...must learn. The flowers are very beautiful. Nice post!

Kingsdowner said...

Thank you for your comments Mary, and I'm sure you'd be surprised if you counted up the number of birds' calls that you recognise.

Simon said...

Surprised to see your Wood Anemones. Well done with the Lesser Pecker, Steve.

NW Nature Nut said...

Beautiful flowers...looks like something I'd see in the garden center here. Probably is. Very pretty.