Sunday, 12 April 2009

Sunday 12th.April 2009

After another wet , dismal day , I was going to start this blog with the fact that I had not heard the nasal trill of Redpolls for a couple of days now , and the theory that I had come to was that when , a couple of days ago , a flock of around 12 were around , they must have been collecting together to move up North to breed . Then , as Carol was serving up the evening meal , I spotted a male Redpoll on the feeder . I didn't manage a photo ,but bang goes that theory .
The mist finally lifted about 1400 , and things did lighten up a little . I took the opportunity to have an hour up on the Common . Everything was dripping , but it was good to be out .
Almost immediately , I found the first of this year's fungi . Named St.George's Mushroom-Tricholoma gambosum , because it is usually found around the Saint's day . 23rd. of the month , a little earlier this year . Found in grassy places and road verges , from the top it looks like Field or Horse Mushroom , but these species will not appear until late Summer/Autumn . Also the gills on these two species are brown , whereas the gills on St.George's are whitish .
Despite the weather , nature is pushing on , and the Wild Cherry is in full blossom .
Also showing well is Lily of the Valley-Convallaria majalis , as expected , a member of the Lily family . The flower stalk can be seen on the right , and the fruit , a red berry will follow .
Whilst there , I checked on the Brimstone eggs . They have gone darker in colour , and should be hatching in the next few days . Normally , eggs laid at this time of year take just over a week to hatch . Of course , the Purple Hairstreak eggs , laid last Autumn , have had to survive all that Winter could throw at them , and survive over a much longer time . This particular egg is the one I have posted a couple of times since it was laid , I hope it makes it all the way . It is reckoned that if an adult female butterfly lays 50 eggs , 20/40 of them will hatch into caterpillars , 10 of those will become chrysalis and only 2/3 will make it to adulthood . The weather , parasites and predation by birds and insects , all taking their toll . Of course , the Brimstone caterpillars will be around when many of the birds have hungry mouths to feed .
Back at the car park , the Common Comfrey that was in tight bud a couple of days ago , is now in flower , and I can confirm that all the leaves are in situ , and not in backpain sufferer's waistbands . Unfortunately , also found were flowers of the Spanish Bluebell , no doubt dumped in garden waste on the site . These lighter coloured , larger bells , will cross pollinate with the native Bluebells , and produce a hybrid species .


Ken Browne. said...

Hi Greenie.
Thanks for the info about the St Georges Fungi.After what you have said I believe I saw some of them today at the Sunken Marsh area, New Hythe.
As for the Redpoll, still hanging on to the odd straggler see. Nice pics.

Warren Baker said...

Hi Greenie,
it sure was miserable weather, but it is bank holiday weekend! Good to see you made the most of it though.