Saturday, 25 May 2013

Tirfor winch vs large broken oak branch

When we got to the woods today, we saw that a large branch had mysteriously broken in an oak tree but was still attached, presenting a potential danger. So as soon as Jon & family arrived, we put him to work!

IMG_3848 Using a Tirfor Winch

Here's the video, showing how the Tirfor winch is set up, using endless slings to attach to trees and, of course, the branch coming down:

After all that hard work it was time for a BBQ, though it looks like Tracy is getting smoked as well here...

DSC_6577 BBQ in the woods

Tilly had a good time too, as Jon let her off the lead for the first time ever - here she is returning to him when called, with Mia chasing her!
DSC_6580 Tilly the Jack Russell

Looking forward to the next time!


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Monday, 13 May 2013

Bluebells, and wild boar poo

The Bluebells in the wood are nearing their peak now, a little bit later than 2012 and a lot later than 2011, thanks to the cold Spring. Here's a few pics, click each one for options to view larger versions in Flickr if you like, or click here to go to my Flickr photostream.

DSC_6525 Bluebells

DSC_6522 Bluebells

DSC_6521 Bluebells

DSC_6530 Bluebells

There's still the odd patch of Wood Anemone lurking around as well:
DSC_6536 Bluebells

The leaves on the Sweet Chestnut coppice are coming on really well now, doubling in size in less than a week:
DSC_6517 Sweet Chestnut leaves

Meanwhile, the wild boar have been busy digging:
DSC_6534 wild boar digging

DSC_6539 wild boar digging

This time they even left some droppings as a calling card!
DSC_6538 wild boar droppings

Although the bird feeder obviously got a lot of use during winter, it then got used less as Spring arrived, but is busy again now - I'm guessing that as the adults have chicks to feed, or will do soon, they are keen to get any easy food they can! Here's a Chaffinch at our feeder - we don't see these too often in the woods.
DSC_6543 chaffinch

The Chaffinch was knocking some seeds out, and this Pheasant crept up underneath the feeder to gather them up...
DSC_6546 pheasant in woodland

It's great to finally be away from winter, let's hope the jet stream behaves and we get a better summer this year...


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Friday, 10 May 2013

Turnstones at Rye Harbour beach

Well, I'd never heard of a bird called a Turnstone before, but apparently that's what we were watching on the beach this evening at Rye Harbour. And funnily enough, we did see some turning stuff over to look for food!

DSC_6495 Turnstone

DSC_6499 Turnstone

DSC_6505 Turnstone

They did spend quite a bit of time just sitting though, as it was exceptionally windy! You can see the sand being driven by the wind in these photos...
DSC_6511 Rye Harbour beach

DSC_6514 Rye Harbour beach

DSC_6510 Rye Harbour beach

Nice evening to be by the sea though!


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Thursday, 9 May 2013

Spring in the woods and making charcoal

The woodland is looking amazing now, with the Spring flowers finally showing themselves. We had several friends come and visit us in the woods on the bank holiday, so a charcoal top up was needed for BBQ cooking - this time we made a short video showing how this simple method of making charcoal in a kiln works, using an oil drum and a smaller barrel:

We had plenty of time to see the displays of flowers. In the darker parts of the wood there are still mostly Wood Anemones, though with some Bluebells mixed in:




There's the first signs of shade as well, now that the leaves are appearing on the trees:

The sunnier parts of the wood are looking good with Bluebells, especially over in Sweep Wood:

The coppice is growing quickly again there as well:

Over in Smock Wood, the ride I cut a couple of years ago is looking great:

What's particularly interesting there is that there are a lot of Violets, which weren't in evidence there a few years ago, so I guess that's a positive result from cutting the ride:


The bit of the wayleave that I cut last winter is coming on well too:



As usual the wayleave is full of wildlife again...
DSC_6419 Peacock butterfly

DSC_6412 Pheasant

And finally... this year we are hoping that we'll actually get some fruit, as the bees should be out at the same time as the blossom, unlike last year...


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