Team Tuesday abandons the Arc and wanders about Windy Bank Wood…
It was plain to see that for once, and only once, in the Twelve years since the formation of Team Tuesday that we would have to abandon a planned wander about the byways for the rain fell in almost biblical proportions as we gathered in the car park at Bents illustrious garden centre—yes it looked that Windy Bank Wood, our chosen venue for the day would have to be left to its own devices!
A quick discussion led to a clear majority vote for a de-brief in the pets’ corner cafe rather than continuing with the walk…. yet even as the rain was washing away our sensible option for the day there were rumblings that perhaps some of our gathering may yet choose a rain-blessed trundle about a certain person’s blessed Moss-land territory!
Coffee, conversation and the odd scone then took precedence whilst the rain pounded down from Atlantic-enriched clouds, which seemed utterly determined to rob even those who might yet have chosen to take their binoculars out into the equivalent of a super efficient car-wash.
Then, as our gathering are well aware, the old adage came into play ‘Time is a Great Healer’ – thus after but one half-hour all but three of our party found themselves outside and before any change of heart could even think of touching our horizon we were off…Oystercatcher, Swallow, Pied Wagtail, Cormorant, Collared Dove, etc. were then soon being scribed into the memory of our day’s chosen recorder…showing that a double figure tally was within our grasp—whatever the weather!
The bridge over the Glaze then gave a reasonable vantage point for our now fully enthused group of birdwatchers and from here House Martin, Song Thrush and Lapwing rapidly moved our list into double figures.
We then set off along the track that leads to the hidden gem of Windy Bank Wood noting Kestrel, Sand Martin and perhaps more importantly we realised the fact that the rain had stopped! – not a particularly blazing day in June I admit, but certainly by then a DRY one!
The now maturing plantations of trees carefully created by the Forestry Commission (whose site this is) looked lush and healthy whilst the wildflower meadows brimmed with a wide variety of plants that no doubt served a healthy insect life—although admittedly on this soggy day we were not blessed with the usual show of Dragonflies and Butterflies that we have encountered on such visits in the past. (The positive taken from this being that we also did not encounter those rascals of summer—Horseflies—‘every cloud…..’).
Willow Warbler song, although at this point in the busy breeding season not in abundance, was still carried in the air by the odd songster whilst a few Common Whitethroat thrashed away at their scratchy tune thus giving an assurance to us humankind that inspite of the weather our summer migrants were stoically soldiering on with their efforts to bring on the next generation.
We also gained the odd snatch of song from a couple of Blackcap and as a real bonus a Garden Warbler, although proving determinedly camera shy (when are they not some were heard to say), gave enough of its repertoire to allow a compare and contrast session betwixt these similar sounding sylvan Warblers.
We then ambled onward and soon regained our point of entry into this tranquil reserve after which we plodded on back to base pausing on the Bridge from which we happily noted our seasonal dragonfly treat — a number of Banded Demoiselle which gave a much needed blaze of colour to what had been a leaden-skyed day.
Fond farewells then rung in the air as the ever resilient ‘TT Birders’ celebrated the end of another great little amble about someone’s local patch. (DS)
Bird List (DS)
- Grey Heron
- Black-Headed Gull
- Lesser Black-Back Gull
- Feral Pigeon
- Stock Dove
- Wood Pigeon
- Collared Dove
- Great Spotted Woodpecker
- Sand Martin
- House Martin
- Pied Wagtail
- Song Thrush
- Great Tit
- Blue Tit
- Missile Thrush
- Garden Warbler
- Willow Warbler
- Coal Tit
- Long-tailed Tit
- Carrion Crow