Friday, 6 November 2009

Friday 6th.November 2009

Having not visited for well over a month , I set off in sunshine for High Elms Country Park . On the way I got my first bird sighting , when driving along the lane near the farm lake , a Sparrowhawk came towards me between the two hedges , about a metre off the road . At the last moment , it veered up and over the hedge and out of sight . The rest of the journey was without incident . On arrival , the usual suspects could be heard , Rose Ringed Parakeets , Mistle Thrush , Jay , Magpie and Black Headed Gulls , all put in an appearance in the first couple of minutes . Part of the Conservation Field has been mown , and it was there that I disturbed a Green Woodpecker on the ground . The fenced off section now holds 20 odd sheep and has not been cut , so it will be interesting to see the difference in butterfly populations on the two areas next year . I don't think the dog walkers will be happy with being excluded from the grazing area , but as the old saying goes , you can't please everyone all the time . Goldfinch ,Jackdaw , Starling , Woodpigeon , Carrion Crow , Robin and Blackbird were added to the list before reaching the end of the Conservation Field . Before crossing the lane and heading for Burnt Gorse , I had a look at an area of Spindle/Euonymus europacus , hoping to post a shot of the orange seeds within the pink seedpods , but too late , the seeds have already fallen . The only other colour found along the paths , was Nipplewort/Lapsana communis , but even that was coming to the end of it's flowering . I checked the Violet Helleborine as I passed , and they have dropped their seeds and are dying off now , so fingers crossed for more plants next year . Very close by , I found two specimens of the same fungi , at different stages of their development . They are both Panaeolus companulatus-Bell-shaped Mottlegill . As I walked along the broad ride towards Burnt Gorse , the scene is so different now , to when Silver Washed Fritillaries , White and Red Admirals , Commas and Peacocks were readily found . Now , a carpet of leaves produce a very Autumnal scene . Very close to where the SWFs were seen egg laying , I searched amongst the leaf litter for one of my favourite fungi , Coprinus picaceus-Magpie Fungus . I could only find two specimens , one had been well chewed , and the other , pictured , was just emerging from the leaf litter , not yet showing it's black/white , Magpie colouring . Hopefully I will find a specimen in good condition on a later visit and post another shot . Also amongst the leaf litter , and as Dean said the other day , very hard to spot , were a couple of specimens of Geastrum triplex-Earth Star , with their spore sacks raised up to ensure good dispersal . A bit further down the slope , another of my favourites , Rhodotus palmatus , once a rarity , with the advent of Dutch Elm disease , much more common due to the abundance of dead Elms . Alongside the Golf Course , I met up with the noisy RRPs and Crows again , arguing over the possession of one of the tree tops , as the sunshine started to become watery and the wind started to spring up . Another pair of fungi were on either end of a fallen branch . The first Chlorosplenium aeruginascens - Green Wood-cup and at the other end Bisporella citrina , nestled amongst the moss . Heading back towards the car with the wind freshening all the time , I came across a Grey Squirrel that seemed to be day dreaming , as I got quite close before it scampered away . Chaffinch , Nuthatch ,Redwing , Gt.Sp.Woodpecker ,Wren and Blue ,Great and Long Tailed Tits were recorded before getting to the car , and the increasing wind had the BHGulls practicing their flying skills . Within sight of the car , I took my last shot , Stropharia aeruginosa-Verdigris Agaric.
Altogether , a very pleasant walk , with 23 species of birds recorded .

4 comments:

Dean said...

I`m loving the 3 species of fungi (the ones after the Earthstars), Greenie.
Brilliantly coloured they are.

Adam said...

Quite a Fungal Foray Greenie. Thanks for comments on my blog - I'll give you a shout when numbers of thrushes + others start building up in East Malling. Wonder if the Waxwing's will be back??

Adam

ShySongbird said...

A great mixed bag here Greenie. I'm sure this year is particularly good for fungi, well it certainly is in my area. I am very envious of your garden Nuthatch on the previous post!

Anonymous said...

Very Interesting!
Thank You!