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Beaconwood and the Winsel (1 Viewer)

Jameswl

Well-known member
I visited the reserve for the first time since Summer earlier.
As usual, I saw noone and the paths are lightly worn. Several trees have lost limbs, one or two trees have fallen, probably due to the New Year storms.
Highlights for me today included 2 muntjac deer, and a tree with a Great Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch and 3 treecreepers on it all at the same time!
Photo is the view from the edge of the wood looking up to Stock Hill - one of my favourite glades in the county.
 

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Jameswl

Well-known member
Finding out about the reserve

I’ve been interested for some time about what the Winsel meant and where it officially becomes Beaconwood. The trust page says Beaconwood was cleared and replanted with oak 120 years ago and the Winsel was planted around 1930. This website has a 1921 map that therefore locates ‘the Winsel’ before plantation.

On the map:
A - The Winsel: Using an old English translator I think Winsel might come from Winn (pasture) and sel (good or healthy). Today this is the area where you enter the reserve and the north-facing slope which goes down to the drainage pool.
B – Beaconwood: The part of the reserve with all the bluebells and oaks.

In hindsight this boundary makes sense because the habitat and bird species change at that point (generally from garden birds to woodland specialists). However, please do correct me if I’m wrong!
 

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Jameswl

Well-known member
I can't id this call. Yesterday on the path between 'The Great Oak' and 'The Great Elm'. It's probably something very common, but I don't know this one!

Could anyone help?
 

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Jameswl

Well-known member
I cant hear most birdcalls and could only make out the cars.....

Sorry for the poor sound quality Keith, can't be helped. The only recording device I had was the voice recorder on my phone. The bird first calls 4 seconds in, the first few seconds are just the A38 and M5 rumbling in the background. Thanks for taking the time to listen to it :t:
 

Jameswl

Well-known member
I can't id this call. Yesterday on the path between 'The Great Oak' and 'The Great Elm'. It's probably something very common, but I don't know this one!

Could anyone help?

JTB has come back to me and says general consensus is Great Tit. Thought it'd be a common bird making an odd noise! Thanks John :t:
 

keithr

Relapsus resurgam
Sorry for the poor sound quality Keith, can't be helped. The only recording device I had was the voice recorder on my phone. The bird first calls 4 seconds in, the first few seconds are just the A38 and M5 rumbling in the background. Thanks for taking the time to listen to it :t:

Thats O.K. James.....I find this reserve really heavy going as I can only hear the cars......most bird calls are too high for me to hear.
Glad someone is visiting here as it looks a great place for Redstarts and Flycatchers...
 

Jameswl

Well-known member
After deciding to visit more frequently this year, I have visited the reserve 6 times since the New Year.

I have recorded the following...
at least 5 times:
Blackbird, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Robin, Wren, Goldfinch, Carrion Crow, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Buzzard, Woodpigeon, Redwing, Nuthatch, L-T Tit, Jay, Black Headed Gull, Goldcrest
4 times:
Treecreeper, Magpie, Jackdaw
Fewer:
Coal Tit (3), Kestrel (2), Dunnock (2), Raven (1), Mallard (1), Herring Gull (1), Green Woodpecker (1)
Mammals:
Roe Deer (on 3 visits), Fox (once), Muntjac (once)


A greater quantity of data allows for some analysis
> 1. No Sparrows, Chaffinches, Bullfinches, etc, although this is not uncommon for the area
> 2. Only 2 Dunnocks recorded, each time by the gate at the entrance. I wonder why the Winsel scrub habitat isn't favoured by Dunnocks, a species which is widespread in the area?
> 3. Treecreeper, which I am certain must be resident, is not easy to spot and often requires careful scanning of the oak canopy to find.

Overall an enjoyable reserve to visit and has lots of potential. Bluebells growing quickly, but no sign of flowers just yet :t:
 

Jameswl

Well-known member
Pictures in the snow from yesterday:

The birds were very active and viewable, but the light was too poor for anything better than record shots.
 

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Jameswl

Well-known member
Another visit today. Quite a different dynamic to previous visits.

No Redwing, no Goldcrest and only one Great Spotted Woodpecker. Lots of Grey Squirrels (usually very few) and the deer are growing antlers. Bluebells are coming on. Daffodils beginning to flower. Generally far more Spring and less Winter. Hopefully the projected bad weather this weekend won't do too much damage.

Pictures show daffodils on the grassy finger from the private house, and a shot of the bluebells from near the Great Elm.
 

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Jameswl

Well-known member
Today
Today's visit added 5 new species to my reserve list for the year: blackcap, sparrowhawk, mistle thrush, feral pigeon and pheasant. It was good to chat to two WWT members on the way out who are hoping to bring a party to see the deer later in the year.
Bluebells - most beginning to grow flower stems, about 1/5th are starting to turn blue. A handful are already in bloom.
Photos: Bluebell growing on 10th April, Grassy Finger Daffs today, Blue bluebells today, View from near Great Elm, Tame Great Tit

Stats since 26th February
Since 26th February I have visited 5 times. The reserve year list stands at 39 species.
Seen at least 4 times:
Woodpigeon, Robin, Nuthatch, Magpie, Jackdaw, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Blackbird, Buzzard, Wren, L-T Tit, Jay, Dunnock, Carrion Crow
2-3 times:
Song Thrush, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Goldcrest, Chiffchaff (last two visits), Canada Goose (both flyovers), Treecreeper, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Green Woodpecker, Goldfinch
Once:
Sparrowhawk, Feral Pigeon, Pheasant, Mistle Thrush, Blackcap, Pied Wag, Greenfinch, Woodcock (delighted to see this on 27th March), Mallard, Chaffinch, Redwing (4th March)

It is interesting that Dunnocks have now become far more widespread in the wood, whereas Goldfinch are scarce. Could either species be a seasonal woodland visitor?
 

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Jameswl

Well-known member
Since the 17th April I have visited 4 times.
Seen at least 3 times:
Wren, Woodpigeon, Robin, Nuthatch, Great Tit, Chiffchaff, Chaffinch, Carrion Crow, Buzzard, Blue Tit, Blackbird, Magpie, Jackdaw, Goldcrest
Seen once or twice:
Song Thrush, Jay, Grey Heron, GS Woodpecker, Goldfinch, Dunnock, Coal Tit, Canada Goose, Blackcap, Treecreeper, Feral Pigeon, Pheasant, L-T Tit, Lesser Black backed gull, Bullfinch.

Total for year: 41 species. I am still hopeful for some redstart/warbler/flycatcher activity, but I haven't seen any yet. :-C
 

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Jameswl

Well-known member
Last year's New Year Project

Last year I put together a series of photographs showing the bluebells grow.

See them here.

Doesn't feel so long until Spring!
 

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