A Walk in the Woods

Friday, April 15th 2016

I had got it all wrong today, I was in the office for when it was dry and went out to check things outside when the rain fell, and steady it fell. There is a certain atmosphere when the rain is falling as you walk through a wood, a sort of Lord of the Rings atmosphere, almost expecting an elf to suddenly appear.

I was visually checking nest boxes above Risedale Beck. I can tell if a bird has been in a box by the amount of webs around the entrance hole, no webs then I just give a visual check, which was the majority. If the webs are there then I open the box to clean it out. I realise this is rather late now for these checks with birds now starting to nest, but I have used this method before and as yet no birds have been disturbed. Thankfully my checks are now complete, and I have repaired a few in the process and returned them to their numbered position.

One box I emptied today was obviously not occupied, at least not by a bird. As I emptied old debris, feathers, moss, bird poo, onto the ground, a buzzing noise of a bee could be heard. A Bumblebee had decided to make a cosy nest. Realising that I had disturbed the bee I gathered her up and placed the ball of nest material in a hollow of a tree nearby, hopefully having not damaged too much.

I did not identify this bee to avoid more disturbance, but from its white end this may have been a Tree Bumblebee, Bombus hypnorum. This bee was first recorded in the UK in 2000, having made its way from the continent, and it has been established it is not a threat to our native Bumblebees. With climate change new invasive species are making their way to our shores and this one appears to be of benefit.

There are many tracks which weave their way through our woodlands, this one was created by Roe Deer.

Wood Sorrel, which is often confused with clover is starting to emerge. These are of the same family, Oxalis, as the sorrel you get in salads. The leaves fold down in late evening.

The rain continued to fall, reminiscent of earlier in the week.

Thank you Colin for your help this morning.


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