A portion of last night's chicken something left over from my Chines meal sufficed for breakfast and I was soon off to Tudeley Woods RSPB reserve a couple of miles north of Pembury. I was off un-encumbered by three of the heavy panniers as well as I left them at the B & B, knowing it would not be to much of a detour to return that way.
The A21 was as unpleasant as yesterday but at least now it was light. I actually overshot the right turn into the lane that goes to the reserve car park and it didn't take too long before a kind lorry driver, noticing my plight, stopped the mass of traffic for me to cross safely.
Tudeley Woods RSPB reserve, I remembered being there back in 2010. Now the car park is sadly closed but it was good to see all of the notices still up. The ones at Cliffe having been vandalised. I took photographs of them and craftily closed in on an excellent photograph of a marsh tit. Looks good but I have yet to see one this year.
The big cycle push through a very quiet forest, management work seemed to have concentrated on an area of heathland within a fence compound to the south and scrub clearance in a large meadow.
Birds were very few in number and only over flying black-headed gulls reached double figures.
In fact so quiet was it that I stopped to do a video diary update for youtube.
Through out the walk I only met one other person and that was Steve who lives in the house in the middle of the forest.
There may have been no birds due to the time of year but it was so serenely beautiful, It reminded me of Scotland and but for the noise from the dreaded A21.
Eventually I reached the public footpath giving an exit to the south and I made my way back to the B & B.
Next to Broadwater Warren RSPB reserve, via Royal Tunbridge Wells.
On arriving it was immediately apparent that there had been management work carried out here on a massive scale. Gone was the claustrophobic feel of being within the dark confines of a sterile conifer wood. Instead huge open areas of developing heathland. Brilliant. Given a few years one could see that this would be superb habitat and so much better than previously. I remembered seeing the same sort of habitat change through management at Farnham Heath. There they had done a lot of conifer clearing and it will be good to see how that has changed over the last five years.
A long natter with Sue started because they though I was a RSPB warden and they wanted to argue about the no dogs off leads from February rule. Sue said that there were foxes and badgers, which is true but I mentioned dog numbers being much larger than the numbers of those and that the place would be very special for ground nesting birds. The usual talk about plastic bag/dog pooh disposal and then the conversation went towards birds.
After twenty minutes or so I heard a call and on turning 180 degrees I saw a small flock of siskin going onto a row of tall conifers. Time to be off, bird number 122 on the list and seen well though photographing them proved impossible as they were so high in the trees, Also here were a small group of long-tailed tits.
The long push along the muddy pathway south continued for another mile or so before I reached Elridge rocks, the only sandstone outcrop on the south east, so the Essex Wildlife Trust notice stated.
Back on the bike with two very long pushes up long hills and even longer no pedalling required descents got me to Uckfield, East Sussex. The latter of the two pushes had been the never-ending push through Crowborough, the home of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes.
Another day, another bird.