Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Tuesday 24th. November 2015

The weather , conservation work starting up on the Common , the hedgelaying season in full flow and the fact that it has been difficult to find things of interest , have all contributed to the lack of a post recently , but with a miserable day today , here goes with a catch up .
The Down House bird survey produced just 16 species on a cold and dull visit , but that didn't affect the fungi , with Wax Caps being found all over the grounds , which included :
                                                    Scarlet Hood / Hygrocybe coccinea ,
                                                             Hygrocybe ceracea,
                                                Meadow Wax Cap / Hygrocybe pratensis ,
                                               and Snowy Wax Cap / Hygrocybe nivea .
Sadly , no sign of my favourites , the pink H.calyptraeformis or the yellow/green H.psittacina .
A walk over the Commons only produced one out of the ordinady fungi , and hoping you're not 
eating whilst reading this , Dog Sick Fungus / Mucilago crustacea . Along the banks of the River 
Ravensbourne in Padmall Wood , Liverworts , a family of plants that have been around for millions of years . On a trip to Sevenoaks Reserve , a stop at a very low Bough Beech Reservoir found very
little apart from the juvenile Shellduck , who are now starting to get their adult plumage . A walk around the reserve at Sevenoaks failed to produce the hoped for Siskins , nor did I spot any Common
Snipe . Interest found included Stinking Iris /Iris foetidissima , showing it's orange fruits , a stand of 
Glistening Ink Caps / Coprinus micaceus on a fallen log , and around by Slingsby Hide , the biggest
Cep or Penny Bun / Boletus edulis , that I have ever seen . A 35mm. film cannister in front for size comparison .
A visit to the small reserve with the feeders in the woods , failed to find the hoped for Siskins or Redpolls , although a small number of each have been seen there recently . As usual , at this time of year , the area around the feeders was where most species were seen . They included ,
                                                                       Goldcrest ,
                                                                        Marsh Tit ,
                                                                    Treecreeper ,
                                                                         Coal Tit ,
                                                                            Nuthatch , 
                                                 and Great Spotted Woodpecker , a female .
One of the many wood-piles around the reserve produced a very sluggish queen Common Wasp /

Vespula vulgaris , if fact she was so sluggish that I was able to almost rest the lens on her nose . The most unexpected find was under a piece of corrugated sheet , a Mole , that just stayed still for a
couple of seconds , before disappearing down a hole . On a road verge on the way home the way
home , a pink form of Yarrow / Achillea millefolium , and near Keston church , the first flowering
Winter Heliotrope / Petasites fragans , found this winter , both members of the large Daisy family .
And finally , having heard from neibours that new benches with carvings on them had been installed in the wood at the top of the road , I decided to go up and have a look . One bench had a pair of bears

carved on the supports . Another had a Badger looking out of it's hole on one support and what I

thought at first was an Owl on the other one . But when I looked closer , the owl's head was in fact a
Bat with a hedgehog just above the seat , and butterfly , moth and spider around the other side Apparently they are a great hit with the children , and I was very impressed with the 
workmanship too .


Derek Faulkner said...

Amazing carvings Greenie and what a lovely idea for such a spot, whoever thought of that should be congratulated.

Warren Baker said...

Loads of interest in that post Greenie!

Phil said...

It does seem like hard work for little result at the moment Greenie, especially from inland sites like New Hythe Greenie. At least you found enough for a good post, might even do one myself soon!