Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Prowling in search of Owls

Last night about 50 people, including about a dozen children, came on our OWL PROWL. Ian McGuire, our owl expert, took us on a walk round Filnore Woods and not only told us about all the owls found in the British Isles but also called in several owls.

We stopped at various places on the walk and Ian gave us short talks illustrated with slides and video clips on his i-pad.  Brilliant.


To everyone's delight Ian's skill at owl calls resulted in a pair of tawny owls flying over our heads and one owl perching briefly in a tree above us.
Although I know they fly, I somehow always think of them as dumpy little bundles of feathers sitting on a branch or peering out of a hollow tree. 
It was impressive to see how long their wings are and how graceful they are in flight.

Thanks to 'True Wild Life' blog for image
For more fascinating info check out Ian's website 'Wild Owl'

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Powdery Oak Mildew

The powdery oak mildew fungus is thought by some to be a serious threat to oak trees in this country.  It thrives in mild, overcast conditions and usually appears in the latter part of the summer.
It shows as a white powder affecting young developing leaves and shoots, and in bad cases it can kill the shoots.

You can recognise that powdery mildew has been at work on an oak tree by the bare twigs projecting out of the crown.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Leaves cause floods

Autumn leaves on the floor are briefly as attractive as when they are on the trees.  But when leaves and twigs get washed into the stream, as in this recent photo, and block up the culvert . . .

. . . we can get floods.This was last December.

So if you see twigs and leaves blocking the culvert, please get a stick and poke them out on to the bank so that the water can run through and the path doesn't get turned into a quagmire.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Volunteer work

Brambles and other undergrowth were the target of our volunteers earlier this month.

Andy and Eric rescued this oak tree which was surrounded by marauding brambles.

A spot of refreshemnt after a job well done.
The main work party cleared the path leading out to Vilner Farm along the Jubilee Way again

 Meanwhile Steve completed his path near post 10 with a generous layer of woodchip. 

This is now a virtual motorway.
Come on people.  Come and use our paths and help keep them open with your tramping boots.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Robin's song

One bird that you will hear singing right through the year is the robin.  You will probably recognise the bird when you see it, but you are more likely to hear it.  Try this excellent video from 'TelsWeb', which I found on youtube.
As well as the sweet fluty song you may hear a 'tik tik tik' call from somewhere in the bushes.  This is what is usually referred to as the alarm call.  It means the robin is feeling cross or frightened.  If a magpie or squirrel or cat is around the robin may sound off.  Have you heard this?  The link below is from 'Shirls gardenwatch'.  So thank you Shirl  - and Tel.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Owl Prowl

On the evening of Tuesday 28th October Ian McGuire of 'Wild Owl' will be leading an informative walk round Filnore Woods, telling us about Owls.  Meet at the Leisure Centre at 7.00 pm.  Wear warm clothing and boots and bring a torch.  It's part of the South Gloucestershire 'Discover Festival', which has over 200+ events.  Check it out on
The three most common owls in Britain are the Tawny Owl
the Barn Owl
and the Little Owl
For more info about British Owls see Ian McGuire's website
Of course we must not disturb owls in their natural environment - see below.
Found on a 'Paperlink' birthday card
Thank you 'Paperlink'.


Monday, 6 October 2014

Children behaving badly

On Sunday the children in the picture were found in a group throwing stones at the tool store and at the trailer next to it.
They had previously been seen cycling through the woods. A 'jump' had been made out of the pile of woodchip, which had been heaped up right across the path near post 11.
The rear panel of the trailer was torn off.  It was eventually found buried in wodchip as part of the bike jump, which has been dimantled.
I was able to re-attach it to the trailer although the bottom board was damaged.
Much of the wood stored alongside the tool store had been flung into the nettles
along with five plants in pots, only two of which have been found.
Some missing equipment was found in the stream bed.  
The police have been notified and it would be helpful if anyone could identify any of these individuals so that a proper investigation can be carried out.  Any of the young cyclists who have been using this part of the wood might be able to shed light on the names and whereabouts of the perpetrators.
Filnore Woods is meant for the quiet enjoyment of all.  No-one has the right to spoil the place for other users.
I had hoped that the bikers would use the place responsibly but as we have found in the past (a) they ride fast without consideration for walkers, small children or dogs, (b) the use of bikes damages the paths, especially in wet weather.
So regretfully we have to ban bikes in Filnore Woods.  It would be helpful if anyone using the Woods could tell bikers that
bikes are not allowed in Filnore Woods
If enough people say it they may get used to the idea.