As I made my way back to the car , I noticed that a pair of Great Crested Grebes were still feeding their offspring . It was amazing watching them , how often the adults came up from their dives with a small fish . The young themselves still look very downy . Also , on top of one of the rubbish bins , was this dead crab . I don't know anything about crabs , but my first impression was that it was a Mitten Crab , an alien species from China . I have Googled the species , and one article stated that if you find a crab in fresh water , it is almost certainly a Mitten Crab . Has anyone else got any ideas ?
After a few fleeting glimpses , and a few 'plops' , one started to feed on the bank about 15 metres away . It seemed quite nervous , perhaps because the vegetation that gave them cover earlier in the year , is less dense now , due to them eating it and it naturally dying off . As long as you stood still , everything was OK , but one movement and 'plop' it was gone .Whilst watching , I definitely saw two , with a possible third . I know why Steve can't stop photographing them . I would have loved to have got some shots of them swimming , but with their speed of movement and the vegetation in the waterway , it is not easy . Perhaps next time .
There was also a mechanical shovel clearing the main ditch of Flag Irises and other vegetation , along with large amounts of silt , and probably large numbers of larvae , and dumping it on the side . An old chap told me he had been talking to the Environment Agency chap , and was told that quite a few eels were being brought up in the shovel as well .
It was pretty obvious from the first couple of lakes that there was no sign of any winter visitors yet . So I thought I would have a good look around the scrub areas .
On the way , I couldn't just pass by the Water Voles , and with that warm sun on my back , it was very pleasant , waiting , watching and listening , to see if they would put in an appearance .
During the three hours or so that I was there , I only saw five Dragonflies , three Common Darters and two Migrant Hawkers . They were all in the Water Vole area . I think the cooler nights are taking their toll now .
Just a single Red Admiral was seen .
Birdwise , thing were pretty quiet . In total 28 species were recorded , with the pick being :-
Kingfisher , Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker and Bullfinch . Lots of Robins were perched on top of trees all trying to outsing their neighbour . On the scrub area , I could hear one singing in front of me , and as I approached , he didn't flinch . He carried on singing as I passed under his tree , and even when I got past him and pointed the camera at him , he just carried on .
The scrub area was also very good for fungi . Almost immediately , under some Hawthorn scrub , I found Lepista nuda-Wood Blewit .
Looking more like an orchid coming out of the ground was Coprinus comatus-Shaggy Ink Cap
or Lawyer's Wig .
The best finds were two of the Wax Cap family . The first was Hygrocybe virginea-Snowy Wax Cap . The second was one of my favourite Wax Caps , Hygrocybe psittacina-Parrot Wax Cap .
All in all , my visit was very enjoyable , I just hope the resident surveyor/blogger doesn't get upset with my tresspass .