I stand and watch a flock of excitable long-tailed tits as they flutter around me, from the brambles into the holly bush then above into the overhead old oak branches. Their bursts of calls are delightfully interrupted by a robin who places himself on a twig that rises above the brambles, just meters away from me.
My eardrums are then somewhat punctured by a call that I’m not certain of, but as I look up to examine the weaving branches, my scanning eyes greet me with a treecreeper who is perched the wrong way up on a bulge of an oak tree.
The old oak trees here surround me and have grown high into the blue, now turning grey, sky. Their branches spiral out, and way above my head I observe how they all intertwine with each other. Right now though, their leaves are still scattered on the forest floor. As I continue to gaze up, I listen to the natural sounds around me which are much more vibrantly tuned compared to the nearby traffic and school children screaming whilst on their school playground.
However I then find myself gasping for air as I hear a woodpecker drumming. The first I’ve heard of the year, but I’d say very surprising with it only being the 3rd of February as in the past at this location its been much later. Most likely due to the mild winter we’re experiencing. As my hands begin to steady from shaking with excitement, there it goes again! For a moment I doubted myself with it being so early but no, most definitely a woody!
All my excitement came at once with it being my first of the year and I’d say very early, especially for this patch! Here though, I’ve seen, photographed and heard them which is not surprising as it’s a pretty perfect sight for them. AGAIN! I must look ridiculous jumping around with excitement…three bursts in a row! I try turning my Dictaphone on again but the batteries are completely flat, typical! The other songs really do all compliment each other and the woodland tune is heaven to my ears.
This patch is the one where I first saw a woodpecker drumming. A magical sign of spring and one that will always make me jump around with excitement (literally)! Coming here always introduces me to the wonderful season as it seems to show everything you may expect to experience, them tell tale signs. From the vibrant yellow of the daffodils and slightly duller tones of the crocuses to the pureness of the snowdrops and even the smell of the wild garlic which comes later on though. Mind you, it’s out already!
It’s a very special place and when you compare it to the surrounding train station, city centre and houses (basically, all the hustle and bustle), it makes it magical. A great treasure trove.
After a busy morning at sixth form, it couldn’t do the trick any better. Every Wednesday that is. After finishing my morning of geography lessons and on my way home, I walk through for a mood lift. Sometimes stopping and eating my lunch or having my coffee, or even using my Dictaphone in an attempt of capturing the beautiful atmosphere.