Monday, 25 January 2016

Green woodpecker and GoPro chainsaw video

I made the most of the good weather today and cut up a couple of loads of logs with the chainsaw and Truncator in the woods, making a GoPro video while I was at it:


But before I even got that far I had a pleasant surprise when I saw a Green Woodpecker in the wayleave!

They are very shy, unlike those that visit bird feeders in gardens, and usually fly away, but this one stayed where it was. So I grabbed my camera and got a photo, albeit through the car windscreen:
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Then a second one turned up!
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It's a shame I couldn't get out of the car to take a clearer photo, but I know that if I did they'd have flown away immediately. I'm just glad I finally got to take a photo of these beautiful but shy woodland birds!

Mike

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Saturday, 23 January 2016

Coppicing in another wood

So, although we're done with coppicing in our own wood this winter, that doesn't mean I've stopped! Today I went to join my friend Matt coppicing in his wood:

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Here's a quick video of him felling a 60-ft (18m) Birch tree with his chainsaw:

Mike

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Friday, 22 January 2016

Sunrise at Rye Harbour

Earlier this week I dropped Tracy's car off for it's MOT in Rye Harbour, and walked back home. As it was sunny and -6C, I thought I'd take the route along the edge of the nature reserve to get some photos of the sunrise. So here they are...

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Mike

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Sunday, 17 January 2016

Coppicing finished for this winter

The coppicing is now finished for this winter. Here's how it looked from one end back in October:

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The same view now is:
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It's a good feeling to have all that wood stacked up and seasoning:
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Here's a few more views of the finished work:
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What's a bit odd is that Bluebell shoots have been showing for a couple of weeks now:
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Presumably this is due to the mild December, hopefully they won't be too badly affected now that the weather has turned more normal for winter. Looking back at past photos, it seems the shoots are about 4 weeks ahead of normal.

Still, I expect the birds have benefited from the mild weather, I saw this Nuthatch discovering food on a dead oak tree recently:
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The tame pheasants are of course spoilt by easy access to seed falling from our bird feeder - here's the male, strutting around a few days ago:
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Once the tame female realised there was food on offer, she sprinted over to join him:
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Looking forward to Spring now! :-)

Mike

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Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Tame pheasants and a new shelter roof

I've posted photos of the tame pheasants in our woodland before:

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But recently I also made a video of them so you can see how they behave - I took this using my mobile phone, so that gives you an idea of how close they are, no zoom lens involved:


The coppicing is generally proceeding according to plan, at least on the few days with nice weather! Here's a couple of shots of the progress so far:
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As we've progressed through this area, we've discovered a new wallow the wild boar are using:
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I gather from people who've lived here longer than us that there has been a spring here for some time, so it seems the boar have located it and turned it into bathing facilities!

Meanwhile, on a day when it was too windy to fell trees safely, I decided it was finally time to repair the roof of a shelter we built back in 2008. Although it's not used to actually store anything, and only has a roof, not walls, it's still useful on camping trips and when Tracy has her class up there, to shelter stuff from the rain or the sun. The sticks I'd nailed on to make a roof in 2008 had started to rot, so the first step was to get all of them off:
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The new roof was going to be made using sweet chestnut offcuts from Rich's sawmill:
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First though, I peeled the bark off them to improve durability, and used a chainsaw to cut them to length and taper the ends a bit where necessary:
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Then it was a case of drilling holes and nailing the offcuts onto the frame to form a new roof:
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I think you'll agree that this finished product:
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looks a lot better than the original one did in 2008:
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The final step was to reinstall the tarp to keep the rain out:
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Now it's ready to serve campers and schoolchildren alike next summer!

Mike

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