A short wander in a nearby woodland 14 April

Wednesday, a day off from chasing pension stuff and outpatient hospital visits. Some of you will recall I recently had an embolism, plus Mrs PR still has ongoing physio after her op last October.

I returned to a nearby woodland Hay Wood, near Solihull, for a deeper investigation as to what is there, and yes, I need to go back and explore more I've yet to see.

However, it was good to get out, though a bit nippy, and once I got away from the main tracks, bird spotting became a bit easier. Not a lot though, the tree canopy is quite high, and because the general public frequent the place, I guess most birds stay high, but there was a lot of bird song. I could hear woodpeckers, blackbirds, robins, long tail tits, and many more, but alas, none to be seen

Not even robin came down low, but they did observe from above!

But I did get a couple of first for me.

Not a first, a male chaffie food hunting, and didn't seem too bothered about a well behaved but free running dog nearby.

This particular stretch of woodland was full of silver birch, though generally, there was a lot of silver birch, plus large areas of Scots Pines. The silver birch catkins were very abundant, and will be until the end of May.

Now this is a first for me, a siskin, which like the male chaffie, didn't seem too bothered about what was going on around.

and a fluffy plumage pic

I did get a little carried away and just kept the shutter depressed to make sure I grabbed at least one decent photo. I had grabbed lots of good photos, too many, but what I did manage to capture, was the siskin coming back down after a very small hop. If you look closely, you can see its little feet just above ground level!

While exploring the woodland, I came across a tree trunk on its side, with grass growing atop!

And you thought grass always grew around the base of the trunk didn't you?

Well, it does. It appears on closer inspection, the trunk had broken away from its roots, taking the grass with it.

Also another first for me, a chiffchaff, that kept an eye on me while I sat on a log and ate lunch. I did spend a good while trying to make sure it was a CC, and not a willow warbler. I opted for the CC based on the paler triangular bib on the neck, which the WW didn't seem to have, plus, a little help from another thread on here in the last 48 hours or so.....

Which then set out to serenade me while I ate lunch

And on my way back to the car, on one of many dead silver birch trees, Birch Polypore fungi

Stay safe folks, the hides will be opening again soon.

Mike

Flickr Peak Rambler

  • Nice stuff Mike... "serenade" is a bit strong for a chiffchaff song lol. Well done with the new find... and arborial grass too..fabulous!! :o)
  • Lovely photos and a nice trip out. Siskins have become a rarity for me this year. Still not seen a single one!

    __________

    Nige   Flickr

  • I just adore siskins Mike. I can get pretty close to my visiting ones...as they wait to be fed! Looked like you have a nice relaxing trip out albeit a wee tad chilly

    (Pardon the Scottish Accent)

  • In reply to PimperneBloke:

    PimperneBloke said:
    Nice stuff Mike... "serenade" is a bit strong for a chiffchaff song lol. Well done with the new find... and arborial grass too..fabulous!! :o)

    Chiif chaff chaff chiff......

    Thanks PB.

    That woodland has an abundance of chiffchaffs judging by the constant calling.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • In reply to Nigel O:

    Nigel O said:
    Lovely photos and a nice trip out. Siskins have become a rarity for me this year. Still not seen a single one!

    Thanks Nige, its been an interesting place to visit, though somewhat challenging to spot the wildlife. I'll be making a few more returns, plus the bluebell carpets are undergoing a slow but definite natural makeover.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • In reply to Linda257:

    Linda257 said:
    I just adore siskins Mike. I can get pretty close to my visiting ones...as they wait to be fed! Looked like you have a nice relaxing trip out albeit a wee tad chilly

    They are gorgeous looking. I was surprised how close I got to that one.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • Great pics Mike, I’ve never seen a Siskin and I don’t recall seeing a chiffchaff either although I am new to birding.
  • In reply to Jez in Surrey:

    Jez in Surrey said:
    Great pics Mike, I’ve never seen a Siskin and I don’t recall seeing a chiffchaff either although I am new to birding.

    Thank you.

    I'm still very much a newbie, only been birding since 2017, for me, there's still a lot of firsts, and still learning. 

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • In reply to Mike B:

    Well compared to me you’re a veteran, I started last year when I wanted to know the difference between blues, coals and greats and it’s grown from there as I saw other birds coming to my garden. I found this app called ‘Smart Bird ID which has the facility to record a bird’s song and then it will try and identify it from its catalogue of bird song and that has helped me quite a lot.
  • In reply to Jez in Surrey:

    Jez in Surrey said:
    Well compared to me you’re a veteran, I started last year when I wanted to know the difference between blues, coals and greats and it’s grown from there as I saw other birds coming to my garden. I found this app called ‘Smart Bird ID which has the facility to record a bird’s song and then it will try and identify it from its catalogue of bird song and that has helped me quite a lot.

    I feel ten feet tall! LOL

    I still struggle with great, willow and coal tits, except at home. Our coal tits always seem to have manky plumage, and currently most seem to have crossed mandibles!

    So that takes some of the sting out any ID.

    I usually take a book out with me, but one things is for sure, if I'm not sure, I always try take a photo or two, or more, covering every angle possible, so I can try an armchair ID. But I don't always manage to make a decision, and I'm grateful for the help and input from people here.

    I'll have a look at the Smart Bird ID app. I've used the RSPB one, but all too often, I've not managed to make a half decent ID. But that could be me, not the app.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler