A little piece of ancient woodland on my doorstep

The wood before the Bluebells Bloom.

Literally on my doorstep is Coed-y-Canndo wood. This little gem of a place has been somewhere I have spent may hours in for well over ten years. I have taken lots of photos there  but what I enjoy most is sitting down on a fallen tree in one of the sunny glades listening to the bird song. At this time of year the noise is incredible. The dawn chorus is something to behold to hear, its absolutely stunning.

Many spring migrant warblers have arrived and fill the woods with song all day long. I can listen to it all from the comfort of my garden. Blackcaps, Chiff Chaffs and Willow Warblers all blast their calls out like some wild equivalent of the "Three tenors concert"

A male Blackcap


Joining them in chorus are a host of  the native all year round birds. One of the loudest songs to be heard is the diminutive Wren. Wow they really have got a mighty song for a small bird. There is one bird song I love to listen to and that is the Song Thrush. Its very aptly named and these birds seem to go into over drive especially in the evening at dusk. Joining these birds in addition are the calls and songs of Robins, Blackbirds ( both with fab songs) , Wood pigeons, Crows Cawing, Nuthatches, Woodpeckers hammering and rattling Mistle Thrushes.

I have discovered a free android phone app called BirdNET that allows you to record the bird calls and it will then identify the birds making them. Its amazing what you can learn from doing it. The app should be something that is worth utilising when I do the BTO surveys as you often hear birds rather than see them and if you are not too sure you can record it and identify it later.

BirdNet available on the Google  Play Store.

So far I have recorded in the wood -
  • Robin
  • ChiffChaff
  • Song Thrush
  • Blackcap
  • Woodpigeon
  • Treecreeper
  • Bullfinch
  • Blue Tit
  • Wren
  • Great Spotted Woodpecker
  • Willow Warbler
  • Coal Tit
  • Blackbird
  • Goldfinch
  • Nuthatch
  • Mistle Thrush
  • Great Tit
  • Redwing
  • Goldcrest
Not a bad list. I have been looking for Marsh Tits and Willow Tits but drawn a blank. Many years ago I did see a Marsh Tit but have not not seen or heard one for over five years.

Due to the fact that Coed-y-Canndo Wood is an ancient woodland its has a number of key indicator species. Most notably are the different types of flowers it gets in spring. The most obvious are the Bluebells which have already started to bloom but I have also found -

  • Wood Anemones ( A very slow spreading species of flower that is a key indicator)
  • Celendines ( Resembles big buttercups covers the woodland floor in yellow in Spring and then will suddenly die off as quickly as they came)
  • Wood Primrose
  • Cuckoo Flower
  • Lords and Ladies
  • Red Campion
  • Blue Forget-me-nots.
  • False Nettle

Wood Anemone


Cuckoo Flower

False Nettle

Red Campion


Lords and Ladies

Wood Primrose

The wood is really coming alive now and I am really looking forward to seeing it turn completely blue over the next coming weeks. There is now a buzz in the air as you walk around as there are more and more insects taking to the wing. Its been great to see more butterflies. So far I have seen Small Whites, Red Admiral, Speckled Woods, Orange-Tips and Peacocks.

Peacock Butterfly
Speckled Wood Butterfly

There are lots of other insects including various species of Bumblebees, wasps, Honey Bees, Hoverflies , Beetles, flies and one weird looking species known as Bee flies ( Photo below).

Dark Edged Bee Fly feeding on a Cuckoo Flower

Dark Edged Bee Fly (Another view shows the wings)

I am going to start to do some more regular blogging about the wood as I think its a great place that could do with some attention from the wildlife community as it has a lot to offer.

Very soon its going to look like the below photo. Stay safe readers.

Picture of the Bluebell Carpet taken in April 2017


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