Thursday, 23 October 2008

Thursday 23rd.October 2008

No post yesterday , as hedgelaying along a reasonably busy road up on the Greensand Ridge , produced absolutley no wildlife at all . Today could well have been the same , as I was working on the Common with a chainsaw in my hands most of the day . However , before I set off this morning , I noticed from an upstairs back window , quite a feeding frenzy on the bird feeders . From the window I managed a few shots .
Coal Tit
Chaffinch imitating a Humming Bird .
A Wren came to see what all the fuss was about .
Coal Tit grabs another seed , whilst Goldfinch and Chaffinch argue .Goldfinches win and take over .

I left for the Common , and decided to pop into Keston Ponds on the way . Many more Mallards on the ponds now , but just one pair of Mandarins on view . Two Canada Geese , who have been missing on the last couple of visits , have returned . In the morning sunshine , one female Mallard had her head down , but one eye on me at the same time .

We met up in one of the car parks , and as we got ready , one of the lads took out of the boot of his car , a wax jacket he keeps in the shed at home . He was just about to put his arm into the sleeve , when this spider lazily came out of it . I haven't bee able to ID it yet , any ideas ? We got to work , clearing more Hawthorn scrub and burning it off . Always the opportunist , I was followed by a Robin who didn't seemed phased by the chainsaw . As soon as I switched off to move material , he was in there . I think he thought it was his birthday and Christmas all rolled into one . I don't think he wanted to see us leave . Before doing so , we had another look for Broad Leaved Helleborines , and found 10/15 that we had not seen last week , making the running total about 70 . On the walk back to the car park , a bit of colour caught my eye on a log by the side of the path . It turned out to be a fungi that used to be quite rare , but since Dutch Elm Disease , it only grows on Elm , it has become quite frequent , according to the books , but I have only found it twice before in the last 8/10 years . It is Rhodotus palmatus , pink at the moment , but will turn peach/apricot as it gets older .

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