Saturday, 19 September 2015

A Bronze Age Burial Mound and a Surprise Visitor

 17th Sept. Badock's Wood was looking really good this morning. The sun was rising over the trees and there was heavy dew on the grass. This is the view from the pond.... and we cleaned the pond this afternoon ready for Sunday. Oh, don't forget the Celebration on Sunday 2-5pm.
 The copper beeches look beautiful when the sun comes through their leaves.
You can double click photos to enlarge them.

 This wren was there too. It was searching through the bushes for insects, spiders and grubs. It started to sing, a beautiful high pitch trilling song, answered by another not far away. In winter they often sleep in communes because keeping warm increases chances of surviving a harsh winter. Sixty three have been recorded in a single nestbox. There are many in Badock's Wood and you will often hear the surprisingly loud song or a tic-tic warning call.
This mound, near the northern side of the meadow is a Scheduled Ancient Monument known as the Southmead Round Barrow or Tumulus. It dates from the Bronze Age and is appx 3500 years old.  It was opened in 1873 and again in 1923. Fragments of human skull and other bones were found but no evidence of a coffin or burial chamber. The sculpture was erected in 2003 to mark the location and has an especially composed poem inscribed on it.
Flint flakes and 2 flint scrapers, together with animal bones were also found inside the mound.
For more information open this link: Tumulus.
The heavy rain showers that we have had over the last week seem to have flushed away the blue-green algae but caution is still needed for children and dogs. Unfortunately the heavy rains also sometimes brings overflow of some drains and the water coming from the Lakewood Road end of the stream was greyish and has left a grey sediment on the stream bed. Hopefully that will also flush away soon. It cannot be good for the wildlife in and around the stream.
I should say a big "Thank you"  to BART for what they do in helping to keep Bristol's waterways, including the River Trym, in good and healthy condition. They are the Bristol Avon Rivers Trust. Amongst other activities they are training FOBW members to look after the Badock's Wood part of the Trym. see : BART.

The Bat walk last night was a great success. A group of about 25 adults and children, many with detectors walked boldly through the meadow and woods after dark. At times the detectors were clicking busily as the bats were feeding on a variety of insects. They were mainly pipistrelles but we also detected an occasional noctule flying higher over the trees. Many thanks to Matt Hobbs who is a professional ecologist and his colleague for giving their time and for sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm. I'm sure it has encouraged us to find out more about the bats of Badock's Wood and to monitor the various species present in the woods. If you would like to know more click on this link: Bat Conservation Trust.
The photo was taken during the walk and looks over the playing field.

Saturday 19th Sept. A cool misty autumn morning, the sun was shining through the mist. This photo was taken in the meadow, heavy dew on the grass but many dog walkers and joggers enjoying the woods and taking their exercise.

The photo on the left was taken along the short track that leads from Doncaster Road into the woods. Also, it was good to see that even on a misty morning the carved bench is still being used...  by a resident crow.

I was surprised and excited to see a spotted flycatcher at the Doncaster Road end of the wood on Wednesday afternoon(16th).  Unfortunately I was too excited and not quick enough to get a photo. It gave me a marvellous view and flew off to catch a large fly or moth before landing on a nearby bare tree. They are summer migrants and this one has probably stopped off on its long journey back to Africa. I felt privileged to see it. Bon voyage!!
 I've put in a photo of a spotted flycatcher that I took in Shropshire in May this year. It shows the markings around the head but this is probably a young bird and doesn't have the darker chest markings yet. Beautiful just the same.

Upcoming events:
Sunday 20th September 2 - 5pm: Badock's Wood Green Hidden Treasures Celebration.
Thursday 8th October 7 - 8.30pm: Owl Prowl. Learn about and listen for the owls of Badock's Wood.
Sunday 13th December 2 - 3.30pm  Tree Dressing. Celebrating our trees and Badock's Wood.
See the Friends Of Badock's Wood (FOBW) leaflet or website for more details:  FOBW events. 

The woods are glorious on sunny autumn days and it's wonderful to see the trees gradually changing colour to those browns, yellows and golds, especially when there are berries of red and orange spread amongst them.....  and then the birds and squirrels feeding....

 Comments can be sent to:

mike townsend

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