Sunday, 18 December 2011

Sunday 18th. December 2011

Like today , yesterday morning was very frosty , but the coppicing job started last week needed to be finished , and once everyone got used to the temperature on arrival , a brisk mornings work saw the job completed . Of interest during the morning , a good example of layering Hazel , where branches
from an existing Hazel stool , top right of picture , are bent over and pegged down into the ground . Nature then does it's thing , and a new stool grows up from the layered branches , and also makes a useful place to hang your jacket . Also found , the first Spring plants in flower , not the usual Winter
Heliotrope found about the turn of the year , but Primrose / Primula vulgaris . Many fungi are hard to identify , but this one found amongst the leaf litter , The Goblet / Cantharellula cyathiformis , is one
of the easier ones , as it looks just like it's common name . And , just before leaving the site , I
spotted a really good sized specimen of Wood Blewit / Lepista nuda , amongst some smaller ones . That's the last Surrey Group task now until the New Year .
Today , in one of the few bright spells , I spent an hour or so , wandering around one of my Winter haunts , Hayes Farm . The walk to the Trout Fishery produced the usual mixed Corvid flock in one paddock and the mixed Gull flock in another . 5 Mistle Thrushes were found in the Oaks near the farmyard , and one amongst them was in full song . A mixed Finch flock , made up mostly of Goldfinches and an almost totally Blue Tit flock was also seen . Three Rose Ringed Parakeets flew over noisily and landed in another Oak . One of the birds was sat up nicely , until the shutter went ,
or to be precise , a split second before the shutter went . In the short time it took to get to the Trout Fishery , that blue sky had closed in and the temperature seemed to halve . An initial scan failed to find the Long-tailed Duck , but the 4 Little Grebes were still around , but only 3 were willing to
gather together for a shot . Most of the waterfowl seemed to be hauled out on the bank , but the pair
of Mute Swans were feeding along the edge by the footpath , and weren't bothered about me . As on my last visit , as if from out of nowhere , the female Long-tailed Duck showed up , right in the middle of the lake , and proceeded to 'fly through the water' for quite some distance , before settling down to preen , and eventually get back to the important business of diving for food . I kept meaning to check on what she would be eating , and finally remembered to do so . I thought that it would be weed and other vegetation , but the book says molluscs and crustaceans , so the lake must be healthy to have kept her in residence for almost a month that I know of , perhaps it has been even longer . Just one Egyptian Goose was found , the juvenile , who spent all the time I was there preening in the
far corner , and having a good flap afterwards . Just before I headed back to the car , an adult
appeared , and the pair seemed to go straight into a good old chinwag , no doubt catching up on recent goings on . A few Pied Wagtails on the way to the car , but I must admit , I was more interested in getting out of that wind .


Warren Baker said...

Like the Little Grebe shot Greenie, not had one of those here for some time now, mind you ive not got much of a lake on my patch!!

Alan Pavey said...

The LTD is well settled Greenie, a nice species to see regularly :-)

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