03 March 2016 Broomy Walk

Pam led eleven of us on a cold and drizzly morning to walk an anticlockwise circular route from Broomy Walk car park to the High Corner Inn and around Amberslade Bottom where the ground was very wet. However by the time we reached the High Corner Inn the sun came out and spring was in the air with plenty of bird song and the drumming of a Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Points of interest were a Yew covered with creamy white male flowers (below) and Butcher's Broom with plenty of red berries, also the Polypody (fern) growing on the trunk and branches of a beech. Butcher’s Broom was used in the seventeenth century to scour butchers’ chopping blocks and was also put around the meat to prevent mice getting to it. The plant has flattened stems which look like leaves and these are very sharp and spiky.

By the edge of Broomy enclosure we stopped to listen to Woodlark singing and there was a debate about a bird of prey which flew over as to whether this was a Sparrowhawk or a Goshawk. We then heard the haunting call from the enclosure of Goshawk which could have been the bird we had seen.

On the way back we had lovely views across the forest to the Ogdens and beyond and as this is a very open part of the forest we were lucky to find that the wind was not too strong.

Birds seen included: Canada Goose, Buzzard, Wren, Robin, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Carrion Crow, Woodpigeon, Chaffinch. Blue & Great Tits, Goldcrest, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow and Chaffinch.
Birds only heard were: Goshawk, Stock Dove, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Woodlark and Jay.

Yew in flower