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