Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Wednesday 5th.November 2008

Once again , two days volunteering on the Greensand Ridge near Westerham , with chainsaws and chippers going , produced very little wildlife . Yesterday was a complete blank , and I thought today was going to be the same , but , when all the noise was finished with and we were clearing up , a call alerted me to a stag Fallow Deer with a superb set of antlers , strutting his stuff on the fenceline of the field we were working in . I dashed to get my camera , and on finding him again , just managed to see his rear end disappearing into a conifer plantation . Even if I was lucky enough to find him in there , the light was almost non existent , so I put the camera away and carried on clearing up .
Back at the yard , my eye caught white amongst the fallen leaves , and it turned out to be a fungi that I have posted before , but after the close encounter earlier , seemed quite pertinent .
It was Xylaria hypoxylon- Candle-snuff Fungus or it's other common name Stag's Horn , which almost mirrored the antlers seen earlier for real .
A quick update on the rescued owls , all are doing well , the female Snowy still hasn't finished her moult , and looks a bit tatty on the back end , but otherwise fine .
The male too is well and has put on weight , and has developed some serious looking talons .
When I got home , I was doing maintainance on my gear for tomorrow in the garage , but had the camera handy in case anything interesting arrived on the feeders or below . Several times , squabbling Goldfinches made me look , but that was all it was . Then I just happened to look over , and I thought , that's different , amongst the Goldfinches . A white rump , finchy sort of build , it had to be the first Brambling of the season . Apologies for the quality of the shots , but the light was terrible , and it was continually moving about . After no more than 30 seconds it was gone , together with the Goldfinches , but I shall be keeping a good watch on the feeders in the next few days .
Last shot for this post , going back to the rescued owls , I am posting this shot for anyone in the Pittswood area who is desperate to see or hear a Tawny Owl before the end of the year .
Answers to the old/country names of birds posted last time :-
Bird 1. Crank Bird or Pump Borer -------------Lesser Spotted Woodpecker .
Bird 2. Peggy Wash or Washerwoman---------Pied Wagtail ( Spot on Warren )
Another couple to think about :-
Bird 3 . Oven Bird or Sally Picker
Bird 4. Tongue Bird or Rain Fowl
Remember , these names are just a couple of old/country that they were known by .

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