Friday, 4 November 2011

Friday 4th. November 2011

Firstly , many thanks to Rob for pointing out that the Sheild Bug which I ID'd as a Forest Bug on the post before last , was actually Picromerus bidens , a predatory species that preys on larvae of other species , especially caterpillars . A species that I have never come across before . Cheers Rob .The heavy overnight rain continued falling well into the morning , but a brighter spell , before showers started to move in , enabled me to get to Down House to do the bird survey , a very wet bird survey under foot it was too . Added to the weather conditions , the old detached house that adjoins the site , is in the process of being renovate by the looks of things , which meant much machinery noise , which didn't help . The results reflected the prevailing conditions , with just 15 species being recorded . Once again , not a sign of a migrant , either Summer or Winter was found , and the most excitement was when a large , probably female Sparrowhawk , appeared from nowhere on the edge of the large meadow and disappeared as quickly onto the footpath , no doubt hoping to flush a meal
from the overhanging trees .  thought the fallen apples in the orchard might have attracted a Winter
Thrush , but only this Rose-ringed Parakeet was enjoying a healthy meal . A mixture of ordinary and Jacob's Sheep are in the meadows , but the small meadow by the cricket field contained just six
Jacob's Sheep , five ewes and this 'silverback' ram , who seemed very enthusiastic about his duties . No sign again of the Roe Deer , but with the grass so short it isn't surprising . Very little fungi was found whilst walking around the site , until I got back to the main lawn behind the house , which
usually produces a good crop of Wax Caps , and so it did this visit ,  like this Scarlet Hood / Hygrocybe coccinea even though they are well behind normal , probably due to the warmer , drier
conditions in October . The same applied to it's relations H. ceracea , and Snowy Wax Cap
H. nivea . For me , the best specimen found on the lawn , was this Hygrophorus hypothejus , which
unfortunately doesn't have a common name . Different from the rest , this Cavulinopsis helvola , was
 found , squeezing it's way up through the grass . On my way back home , with threatening skies coming in again , I had a quick look around High Elms , and the effort was worthwhile , finding my
first Magpie Fungus / Coprinus picaceus , of the Autumn , this too having only just broken through the leaf litter . A member of the Ink Cap family , it will show how it gets it's common name when it
matures . And finally , a couple of shots from the back bedroom window , one of the local Blue Tits ,
and what must be a teenage Goldfinch , suffering from a bad attack of acne .


Warren Baker said...

It's all very hard going at the moment Greenie, we need a blast from the north to get things truly Autumnal!!

Rob said...

A colourful assortment of fungi there, Greenie.

Paul said...

Nice Parakeet shot mate.
I would like to see some birds in my back garden right now, its extremely quite on the garden bird front here.

Phil said...

Very quiet garden wise here too Greenie, the last (and first) Parakeet I had in the garden was last Boxing day.Must have just been passing through.