Today i was treated to an inspiring visit from local bird expert, Charlie Peverett of Birdsong Academy. We were discussing small groups of business people spending time in nature and the encounters that they might experience in and around the secret campsite.
Our tour started by looking around the campsite and identifying great spaces for birds and followed by a quick look at The Hide our covered camp fire area, designed for post trip refreshments around a campfire.
We have landscaped the site to provide a mixture of habitats and ground cover. This mosaic of plants ensure we get a great variety of birds, including Green Woodpeckers, and Goldfinches. The central part of the campooing meadow is kept open and is grazed, each year, by the visiting flock of Shetland and Jacob sheep.
There was a couple of Buzzards circling overhead so in fear of our lives we decided to head off down the dismantled railway track.
As we left the site we were treated to a few individual Redwings, visiting from Scandinavia and the odd one of our resident Thrushes. The railway is managed by UK Power Networks and they have a great habitat management regime which creates a variety of pockets of varies pants and is also the hot spot for the spring time singing of our visiting Nightingales. At this time of year there are none around. Currently they will be living it up in africa.
We left the railway track and headed into the beautiful Knowlands wood. Knowlands is managed under a coppicing plan and the benefits of this approach are immediately obvious with a huge range of different heights in the understory.
This provides an immensely divers range of plants and we were quickly hearing Bullfinches, Wrens, Jays, Nuthatches and were treated to a disorganised mob of mixed small birds flying past. This group contained Long Tailed Tits, and a number of other birds darting from branch to branch in search of some food.
Venturing onto one of the rides that Knowlands is famous for, we got an uninterrupted view of the clear blue sky with birds criss crossing overhead. With very little wind we were also treated to the songs of a number of birds, which is when Charlies knowledge comes into its own.
We left the woods and walked back along the railway track spotting 3 goldcrests, each of which alerted us to their presence with their distinctive call well in advance of us spotting them.
Back in the meadow we had a fly by from a small group of Goldfinches who are resident in the camping meadow where they feast on the abundant thistle seeds and mixed ground vegetation.
Charlies knowledge and enthusiasm for all things wildlife permeated the conversation throughout the morning when we discussed Black storks, Beavers, Fallow deer and Lynx.
We plan to run some mid week bird walks, aimed at business teams.
It will provide a fascinating introduction into the sites, sounds and lives of a wide range of our native birds.
It will also provide a chance for work colleagues to connect with each other in a unique environment away from the usual distraction of the office.
For a seasonal sign off I was treated to a hop by, from one of our resident Robins, as i walked back to the house for a very late lunch.