|Woodcock 'roding' at Orlestone forest - May 27th|
Weekend walks in Orlestone forest for the most part showed much improved numbers of our more scarcer migrants than previous years. A bike-ride down Duck Lane and through to Woodchurch Road had four singing Spotted flycatchers and four purring Turtle Doves. In the same area all our previous Nightingales territories continue to have singing birds - some 8-10 birds present. Long tailed tits seem to have had a bonanza of a breeding season, with many family parties trailing through the Stone Wood area.
With the more settled warm weather, Grizzled skippers and Small coppers are on show in small numbers.
Perhaps the highlight of my weekend walk was a party of 20 Crossbills vacating one woodland area for another on Saturday morning. Crossbills seem to be resident in the forest this year - could it be that they've bred?
A late evening walk in Faggs Wood had just one one Woodcock present and, as yet, no Nightjars. Surrounded by the calls of Cuckoo, three close-by Tawny Owls, the song of Nightingales and our commoner song birds, Orlestone Forest is now at its best!