The magical Pied Piper in the Wood


I visited a wood that lies on the eastern slopes of the Blorenge on Saturday. It was a lovely warm spring morning. The wood is a magical place. A mountain stream runs through part of it. Clear and clean waters flow down from the mountain. The stream works its way around rocks that lie in its path and under moss covered old tree roots. The wood is small, perhaps only a few acres. It is sheltered from the worst of the weather usually and offers a woodland oasis to the birds that call it home.

For some birds its the place they come to breed. They fly all the way from Africa to breed there. As I enter the wood the songs of spring migrants like the Common Redstart and Chiffchaff could be heard accompanying the melodies of resident species such as Great Tits,Nuthatches,Robins and Wrens.

Deeper into the wood where there are some mature Oak and Beech Trees, high up in the canopy I could hear a piping song of a different bird. I looked up and saw a flash of black and white. Perched in a sunny spot was a male Pied Flycatcher. He was singing his little heart out. I imagined he was piping "This is my patch come and find me ladies". I do hope he is successful and attracts a mate or two - they are known to have a bit on the side and service two females at once.

I love the call of the Pied Flycatcher - its quite distinctive and something I often hear long before I catch a flash of black and white in the trees.

I watched the male for over thirty minutes. He flittered from one branch to another singing his song. 

With the sun on my face, fresh air in my lungs, the bubbling noises of a mountain steam in the background and a serenade from a beautiful bird it was pure magic.


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