Monday, 22 April 2013

Nightingale scrub cleared in Orlestone forest

Cleared scrub, Birchett Wood April 22nd
This time last year, I was thrilled to find a new area of scrub in Birchett Wood that had been colonised by Nightingales. Knowing Orlestone Forest well, to my ears this small area held the highest density of Nightingales present summer 2012. The area isn't particularly large just a few acres divided by wide woodland rides. So returning tonight, I'm very disappointed to find half of the scrub has been cleared and no Nightingales present.

On the plus side, tonight the area not coppiced had five Nightingales singing, and close-by in this western end of Birchett wood, 10 birds were singing in total.  More birds will arrive in the coming weeks, so despite last years terrible breeding season, there are still plenty of birds around.

I fully understand the need for coppicing, I know how quickly Nightingales can move on when scrub doesn't suit them, but I wonder how well managed this clearance has been? It could be argued that the cleared area will benefit Woodcock, Nightjar and Tree Pipit, perhaps someone really has thought this through?

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