23 March 2017 Hawkhill and Frame Wood

Frame Wood
14 of us set out from Stockley car park for Hawkhill Wood and Frame Wood with Simon and Carol leading. The earlier rain had ceased, much to everyone’s relief.

The walk was quite varied in habitat - early on there was open grassland with a few tree stumps, where Stonechat and a song-flighting Meadow Pipit were seen. Nearby we stopped to look at an information board which recorded the wartime RAF activities, setting the historical context of the past when the area was part of RAF Beaulieu. In the same area two Siskins flew over calling.

Common Polypody
Common Polypody
Further on we reached Frame Wood where the old and gnarled trees were ideal habitat for the Great Spotted Woodpecker and Treecreeper we encountered. Moss growing on the tree trunks and branches supported Polypody ferns in places. These trees formed an interesting and atmospheric backdrop to our route for some had been pollarded years ago and now grew in interesting shapes. Beneath them we found Wood Spurge already in flower. A Firecrest was found by some of the party in a Holly thicket. 
Hairy Curtain Crust (Stereum hirsutum)

Duncan noted Birch Polypore (Piptoporus betulinus) which is present in virtually every  birch wood
restricted to this host, as well as two other fungi: Turkeytail (Trametes versicolor) and Hairy Curtain Crust (Stereum hirsutum).

Although dry it was not without a breeze, so our bird count was not high. We had a view of several Sika as we were returning which rounded off our walk nicely.