Greater activity and colour in Hoo Wood.
Wednesday 6th April 2011 – 20:15: This week has seen a noticeable increase in bird activity in Hoo Wood. Tonight I watched two cock pheasants fighting at the southern end of the wood, close to fox Hollow; they were rising three or four feet off the ground and totally oblivious to me and my dog. All sorts of eager bird calls and an energetic rustling sounds drifted from deep within Dark Wood. I was too busy watching the Pheasants fighting to take much notice. Hoo Wood pheasants have been perching on tree branches calling for mates this week. I guess this gives them increased vocal projection, greater visual distance, and protection from dogs and foxes.
It is good to see the wild plants flowering again. I saw the first bluebells of the year above Fox Hollow this morning. They bloom in exactly the same place every year. I checked last night and didn’t see a single bluebell; this morning there were half a dozen. Last year I saw the first Hoo Wood bluebell flower on 17th April, 6th April in 2009, 4th April in 2008 and 10th April in 2007.
Buzzards are flying through the trees along the ridge early mornings and evenings now. They might be trying to decide on suitable trees to build nests, or they are trying to entice me away from a nest. I haven’t found a buzzard nest yet this year.
The green woodpecker has been very vocal, flying frantically from one tree to another and calling at each stop; I have not heard him drumming on the local dead wood as much lately.
Below are some of the photographs I have taken in Hoo Wood this week: