After today , I am prepared to extend the 'S' word to 'Spr' , which will hopefully appease a certain Blogger , but still not yet ready to go the whole hog .
This morning's mirk and continuous drizzle put paid to the workday up on the Common , as today's task was to be burning off the leggy Gorse that was cut last week , but after so much dampness , there was little chance of getting a fire started , never mind burning all the wet Gorse .
Looking out of the back bedroom window , three houses down , the Magpies have finished refirbishing/enlarging last year's nest , and from the look of it , have roofed it with twigs from the Tamarisk tree in our garden , having seen them ripping it about on several occassions . The pair are strutting about the area , ensuring the security of the area , and seeing off any likely predators , like this Carrion Crow that came too close . Seeing the pair side by side , the male I think on the left , there seems to be a noticable difference at the base of the bill that I hadn't noticed before . Any ideas ?
The drizzle did stop about lunchtime , and once again , a bit of brightness had me heading for High Broom Wood , near West Wickham , on yet another search for Siskin and Redpoll . In years past , I could reckon on getting them both here , but not in recent years . Once again , the 20 mtr, Alders that line the stream were devoid of feeding Finches , and whenever I saw a small bird , it was never the species that I wanted . In the stream I did find a female Grey Wagtail , but once again the light and her constant movement , I was unable to do her justice . On a fallen tree , I found Flammulina velutipes-Velvet Shank , so called because it's stem is covered with brown hairs , giving it a velvety look . Another small bird appeared briefly , but it turned out to be a Wren , and showed what it thought of my intrusion , by turning it's back end to me . On the woodland floor , Bluebells were well through the leaf litter , along with leaves of Lesser Celandine and Lords& Ladies .I had noticed walking around , that some of the Hazel stools had male catkins that had opened . I had a closer look , and after a while , found my first female Hazel flowers of the year . Tiny little deep red flowers looking like sea anemones , the spotting of which was made harder by the light conditions . If you haven't found them before , look for the open male catkins , as the female flowers appear at that time , hopefully to be pollinated and produce the nuts . On my return journey on the other side of the stream , the sun actually broke through , and when I got back to the car , the thermometer was reading a balmy 11C . Another reason for going half way to the full 'S' word .
11 hours ago