Thursday, 24 October 2013

Thursday 24th. October 2013

A short visit yesterday to Knole Park in Sevenoaks , failed again this Autumn to find the Fallow Deer bucks rutting as they are supposed to be at this time of year , in fact I only found four bucks in total on the visit . On Echo Mount , the dominant buck , apparently brought in a couple of years ago to rejuvenate the herd , was the only male to be found , and from the look of him , doesn't seem to be
bothered about any contenders , as he spent most of the time dozing . Another reason for his position could be the large quantity of Sweet Chestnut fruits that have fallen , on which he has probably feasted . The other buck with a reasonable set of antlers was a long way off on the golf course , no Warren he wasn't playing , he was chasing a doe , but not seemingly getting very far with her . The
other two bucks seen have a few years to go before they can even think of usurping the ruler of Echo Mount . Very few birds around , but this female Green Woodpecker allowed me to get reasonably
close to her , before flying off . With no rutting , I headed across the golf course looking for fungi , and in between showers , managed to four species of Wax Caps , which seemed to echo the colours of the season ,
Scarlet Hood / Hygrocybe coccinea ,
Hygrocybe ceracea ,
Snowy Wax Cap / Hygrocybe nivea ,
and Blackening Wax Cap / Hygrocybe nigrescens .
I also found several specimens of the rare species Clathrus archeri / Devils Fingers , a relative of the more common Stinkhorn , and like it emerges from an egg , partially buried in the ground . Unfortunately , every specimen was damaged either by the heavy rainfall recently or by birds or
animals . As it's common name indicates , an undamaged specimen would have 4/6 red fingers pointing skywards , looking somewhat like a jester's cap . Another unusual species found , but more
common , was White Helvella / Helvella crispa . I also saw three Hornets whilst on site .
Today , after a very disappointing visit to Kelsey Park in Beckenham , finding nothing of interest , I spent an hour or so this afternoon in pleasant sunshine up on West Wickham Common , finding a couple more colourful fungi ,
Amethyst Deceiver / Laccaria amethystea ,
and Mycena pura .
Also found were three butterflies . A Comma that just wouldn't stop , and two Speckled Woods . One
was well worn , pictured , the other less so . The Comma will hopefully see next Spring , overwintering as an adult , but the two Speckled Woods will not , their lives will end soon , but interestingly , their offspring will overwinter as either a caterpillar or a chrysalis , the only British butterfly to do so , the rest doing so as one of the distinct stages , adult , egg , caterpillar or chrysalis .

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

No chance of a ''hole in one' for the Bucks then Greenie!