Arriving at Credenhill Park Wood just before dawn breaks means that you get to hear the twit-twooing of the tawny owls as they go to bed, alongside the twittering chirrups of the blackbirds, robins and tits as they wake up.
The wood in February is a pretty brown, twiggy affair, the sun slowly rises and peeks through the tall silhouettes of the fir trees. Catkins dangling give a hint that spring may be on the way. The mornings are too cold for the squirrels to be scampering about, so it is just the birds. The churned up mud of the paths has been frozen solid, preserving the hoof prints of the fallow deer that have been moving around during the night. The songbirds are soon joined by a woodpecker hammering away.
Scarlet elf cup fungi, Sarcoscypha coccinea, or austriaca – a microscope is needed to tell the difference –…
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