Friday, 26 December 2008

Birds and stuff

As usual for a day off from working in the woods, I had a cold yesterday. But I was mostly OK again today, so we went up to the woods, although for a shorter and quieter day. We'd not been there long when a robin came to visit us. Here's some pictures (just a few of the many I took!):We've also seen a wren hopping around in the log piles, but not managed to get a photo yet. The small birds seem to love the piles of logs and sticks we've left for them, hopefully they will find the dead hedge we've been making alongside the footpath, and enjoy that too.

There was a bigger bird around today as well - a pheasant:
They're not hunted in our woods, and there seem to be a fair number of them proudly strutting around. I hear pheasants aren't known for their intelligence - this one looked at us, then appeared to pretend it hadn't seen us and just walked slowly away. I'm surprised they survive at all...
I also went back to the dead oak with the holes in it. We'd had a good look at it and tried some photos a couple of days ago when our friends Paul and Penny were up with their family, and today I had a go with a longer lens and the flash. Without the flash:

and with the flash:
As you can see, the flash lets you see inside the hole, despite it being some way off. I'm hopeful that if some birds nest in there in the spring I might be able to get some photos.

After all that we got a few jobs done, mainly tidying up some logs, building more racks and splitting off-cuts for firewood.
One thing that we're doing is making use of each return trip form the work site to our base in the wood, e.g. at lunch and the end of the day, to carry a few of the split off-cuts back: This is one of the keys to efficient work in the woods - make sure you're carrying something on every trip! The off-cuts are going into the drying shelter, where we'll use them for cooking later next year.

Couple of days off now, although on Sunday we're going to another wood nearby to do some volunteer coppicing for Butterfly Conservation. It'll be strange to go back to bow saws for a day - no chainsaws on volunteer days!


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