Friday 9th November:

       The Autumn colours this year have been and still are pretty amazing. The lack of frost and strong winds have kept the leaves on the trees and the long period of sunshine in the summer has helped the colours to develop strongly. Its a great time to be in the wood. I have been sorting out some leaning Scots Pines and the trimmings have been piled up waiting for a good afternoon for a bonfire....and today was the day. I make use of a lot of brash over the year as dry hedging, which makes for useful habitat but sometimes a good bonfire is really hard to resist - I think there is a bit of pyromania in my genes, perhaps. The Scots pine and birch toppings burnt a treat and the wind was just strong enough to add a bit of drama. As it has been wet over the last few days I judged the risk of burning down the whole wood was pretty low. Fire and flame is a heady mix of both fear and fascination, and watching the dreadful scenes of wild fires in California underline just how dangerous they can be.
       I have decided to put up a bird feeder in the wood as a bit of a trial to see what turns up and to help some of the scarcer species through the winter. The tit family were quick to find it, with Blue, Great and Cole Tits romping through the seed mix. I can use my truck as a hide and if I keep reasonably still the birds do not seem to realise that I am inside.............
Cole and Blue Tits

The fascination of flames

A wary Gt Spotted Woodpecker

....all except, that is, for a very wary Great Spotted Woodpecker, who I could tell had sussed my strategy and was not going to play ball and pose for me. My big hope is that a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker will find the feeder and become a regular.....the chances of that are slight but.......


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