Monday, 29 September 2008

Monday 29th.September 2008

Almost the end of the month , time for the Down House bird survey . The main garden , walled vegetable garden and the orchard were alive with bird and song . 16 species were recorded here alone , with the best being 9 Redwing , 4 Mistle Thrush , 2 Rose Ringed Parakeets and a Green Woodpecker . The Mistle Thrushes and the Redwings seemed to be arguing about perching rights , and the Rose Ringed Parakeets were just making lots of noise as usual .
Since my last visit , the top two meadows have been cut , and a start made on the large bottom one . On an overhanging branch was a female Kestrel , warming up in the morning sun , and
keeping a keen eye on the edge of the uncut meadow . She let me get so near , and then she just
lifted off , and glided down to the bottom corner . As I approached her again , she disappeared over the trees onto the Golf Course . The open fields were not as productive as the gardens , but did produce Pheasant , 5 Jays , mosty on the ground under Oak trees , probably burying acornsor looking for victims of the grass cutter . Also feeding amongst was a small flock of Starlings . Two more Green Woodpeckers were found on the ground , but before getting into camera range , flew off , yaffling back at me . In the sunny , warm corner of the Cricket Field where several Speckled Woods were fighting for the best spot on the last visit , the Elder only had a single specimen this time .
By the time I had got back to the gardens , 23 species had been recorded , and although the first of the Winter visitors was recorded , no Summer visitors were found . On the main lawn behind the house , I found a clump of fungi that would not normally be found on grass , Armillaria mellea-Honey Fungus , normally found on dead wood . I then remembered that a hedgeline used to stand here , and the fungus was probably growing on the old roots of that hedge . Not far away , were two Agaricus campestris-Field Mushroom , enough to make a hearty omelette , I would say ( film cannister or size ) . The Waxcaps seen last visit were nowhere to be seen this time , but a single large yellow one , Hygrocybe konradii was standing proud amongst the grass and moss .
Mentioning moss , the lawns are not treated to get rid of it , as this would probably kill off all the fungi , including what could well be the rarest on the site , another Waxcap , Hygrocybe calyptraeformis , a beautiful pinky mauve fungi . I did find one Boletus ( pores rather than gills under the cap ) on the main lawn , I think it is Tylopilus felleus , one that I don't see all that often . Before leaving , I always re-visit the walled vegetable garden to see if any butterflies are showing . Today was no different , and found two specimens . The first , a Small Copper , posing on Verbascum-Mullein ,
and the second a Comma , nectaring on the flowers of Ivy .
Just before reaching the car park was this trio of Brown Roll-rim -Paxillus involutus .


Steve said...

As I said before keep it up with the're saving me buying a book!!

Kingsdowner said...

That's a good autumnal picnic basket!
Do you enjoy the fruits of the field?

Greenie said...

Kingsdowner ,
I never pick and eat any fungi I find , I am a novice at identifying them , and too many experts have been caught out , and become ill , or even died .