Lesnes Abbey Woods bird walk report, April 25th 2015

RSPB  Bexley Group – walk Lesnes Abbey Woods

Saturday 25th April 2015 – 0900-1200

After a week of seemingly unbroken sunshine it was a little disappointing to assemble under grey skies and a passing shower – undeterred, 12 members joined Brenda and I and the Chair and Vice-Chair of Lesnes Abbey Conservation Volunteers, Tristan Boulton and Kim Ilsey.

Bexley RSPB and Lesnes Abbey Conservation Volunteers members on the bird walk in the woods (Photo: Brenda Todd)

Bexley RSPB and Lesnes Abbey Conservation Volunteers members on the bird walk in the woods (Photo: Brenda Todd)

We started looking into the pool in the North West corner where a moorhen made a break into open water, and whitethroat and blackcap were heard along with wren and robin.

Male Blackcap (Photo: Ralph Todd)

Male Blackcap (Photo: Ralph Todd)

We then made for the woods, already aware that the hoped for abundance of bird song was not much in evidence. Plenty of common species were seen around the perimeter of the woods, blackbird, chaffinch, woodpigeons, crows,  a single goldcrest, blue, great and a pair of long-tailed tits plus raucous ring-necked parakeets. The over-riding highlights were the carpets of bluebells and wood anemone in the wildflower area.

Bluebells and Greater Stichwort (Photo: Brenda Todd)

Bluebells and Greater Stichwort (Photo: Brenda Todd)

Once into the heart a pair of great spotted woodpeckers were seen with blackcaps and chiffchaffs the most vocal – a sparrowhawk flew over.

Chiffchaff (Photo: Ralph Todd)

Chiffchaff (Photo: Ralph Todd)

We wandered past the excellent wood carving of a face in a dead tree trunk and eventually found ourselves in the open heathland area. In the absence of many birds we took the time to look at the many plant species that were to be enjoyed.

Lesnes Abbey Woods is a fabulous local wood, the varied elevations not only make for some strenuous walking but also contrasting habitats – the history of the site was of great interest along with the knowledge that a dedicated group of volunteers keeping alien species at bay to  improve areas for native plants and birds.

Species seen: Grey heron, moorhen, mallard, sparrowhawk, lesser black-backed gull, stock dove, wood pigeon, ring-necked parakeet, great spotted woodpecker, wren, dunnock, robin, blackbird, blackcap, common whitethroat, chiffchaff, goldcrest, long-tailed tits, blue tits, great tits, magpie, carrion crow, starling, chaffinch.

Plants (not exhaustive) : Broom, Common Gorse, Dandelion, Bluebell, wood anemone, wood sorrel, red campion, yellow archangel, white dead nettle, ground ivy, common dog violet, greater stitchwort, wood forget-me-not/speedwell, heather, barren strawberry, hogweed, wild raspberry, lords and ladies.

Ralph and Brenda Todd

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1 Response to Lesnes Abbey Woods bird walk report, April 25th 2015

  1. Sara spellman says:

    Hello,

    I may be looking to hold a small event during the summer at lesnes abbey and a guided tour of site and or species would be something I would like to offer.
    My budget won’t allow me to pay anyone but I’m hoping for some expert volunteers !
    Would anyone be interested?
    Many thanks
    Sara Spellman
    Trainee community engagement officer
    North west Kent countryside partmership

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