10 Mar 19

Return Journey

Today it was my return journey to Portland, but not before I visited my own stomping ground at Apley Wood and the adjoining lake and pools. Situated north of Wellington, Shropshire, the grounds Here are of historical importance and date back to 1210. I won't go into all the facts and details as there is an excellent website, run by the Friends of Apley Wood Here, which will tell you everything you need to know if you ever visit.

When I got up this morning there was a layer of snow, which gradually melted back in the rain and howling gale. It wasn't looking good, however after packing the car and leaving the hotel, the weather did clear with blue skies and lovely sunshine.

The place has certainly changed over the years with big wide paths, but nicely laid out. There were a few boggy areas which needed navigating, but overall it looked almost like I remembered it many years ago. The woods were alive with birds and I managed a few first for the year ticks, with Treecreeper, Nuthatch and Siskin. All three birds I expected to find here, so its good to know your old patches.

Other birds of note were a Tawny Owl calling, Blackbirds collecting nesting material, 5 Goosanders fishing in Apley Pool, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a pair of Stock Doves canoodling, Not forgetting the dozens of Grey Squirrels. I don't think I've ever seen so many squirrels.

Here are a few photos and a video from my walk which actually ended in a downpour. Fortunately I had just got back into the car:

The Main Entrance to Apley Wood

The large pond in the wood.

Around the pond a few Bat Boxes high up in the surrounding trees.

This used to be the Apley Castle bathing pool, which used to be almost covered in brambles, reeds and full of fish. In fact it used to be really hidden from the path, but nowadays you can walk right up to it.

The Yew Avenue

I'm stood on the ground where the Georgian Manor House once stood. In the far distance is a 'gap' in the Yew Trees.

This is the steps down to Apley Pool where the clay for the bricks for the manor House were dug from.

I was quite surprised by the number of Treecreepers in the wood............

...........there were at least 6 birds with this bird feeding and singing away.

The beautiful song of a Treecreeper.

A pair of Stock Doves on an old tree trunk.

A female Blackbird collecting nesting material.

Just caught him as he ran up the tree. I have never seen so many Grey Squirrels here before.

This is is the view once you go through the Yew Trees and down the steps. There is a housing estate to the right, but over the years all the petitions have paid off and this strip of land from the wood to Apley Pool is safe from further housing development. Well for the moment.

Apley Pool. 

Home today to 5 Goosanders. Two drakes and 3 females.

They are sawbills and like nothing better than diving down and catching a few fish or two or three or as many as they can catch.

This is one of the females cruising by and then.....

......a bit of a stretch.

A single Black-headed Gull in full Summer Plumage.

Birds Recorded: 2 Cormorant, Canada Goose, Mallard, 5 Goosander, Sparrowhawk, Moorhen, Black-headed Gull, 2 Stock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Tawny Owl, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, 3 Song Thrush, 1 Mistle Thrush, 4 Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Wren, Jay, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, 2 Siskin and Goldfinch.

On this day..........
Today's Sightings Here.