Old Lodge warblers, larks and starts

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The last week of April is the week when Old Lodge reserve on Ashdown Forest comes alive with the sound of birds; the most obvious is the liquid song of willow warblers foraging in the birches but also blackcaps and redstarts. A mistle thrush sings from a tall pine. A pair of woodlarks forage quietly on the bare patches of sand and heath. There is the briefest scratch from a Dartford warbler. The redstarts sing from high in the trees but drop from low perches to pick prey from the ground beneath the great beech trees; spiders appear to be the only available invertebrates. The cold air blowing from the east is clear and bright and the new leaf and catkins on the birches are a mix of rich golds and spring greens. Lowland heathland through the seasons is often times mundane, but on a good day in the right week, glorious.

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  1. Excellent photos.

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