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January 2012

posted 7 Feb 2012, 06:23 by Jane Arnold   [ updated 4 Mar 2012, 08:55 ]
A warm start to 2012, feeling more like spring than winter! Even the birds were fooled and a great spotted woodpecker could be heard drumming on one of the trees surrounding the Green. Woodpeckers can frequently be heard drumming in spring as they use it to establish a territory and to attract a mate.

There were some strong winds later on in the month, which caused two trees to be blown over. One large tree fell onto the Green from the Maple Hayes estate, near the Abnalls Lane entrance. This caused some damage to the fence but fortunately no other harm. Dr Neville Brown from the Maple Hayes Estate organised for the tree to be removed and the fence repaired. So thanks to him for sorting this out so promptly! Fallen tree on Pipe Green
The other tree fell across the path leading to the Green from the football field entrance. Whilst this tree had been dead for a number of years, its hollow trunk has been a regular nesting site for birds. A few years ago, a lesser spotted woodpecker successfully nested in the trunk of this tree and more recently, tree sparrows took over. Lesser spotted woodpeckers are very rare in the area and across the UK generally, whilst tree sparrow numbers have declined enormously in recent years. Lets hope they can find a suitable nesting site elsewhere near the Green for this year! Fallen tree on path from football fields
Many insects have lived in the decaying bark and wood of this tree and these in turn will be a food source for birds such as woodpeckers. You can see in the photograph, holes where a woodpecker has drilled into the bark looking for such insects. It just emphasises the importance of the trees (dead or alive) in providing food and nesting sites for birds! Woodpecker probing bark for insects