Sunday, 15 November 2015

Fun with fungi in the rain

The Safari was dropped off at the nature reserve by Wifey for an hour or so this arvo. She immediately spotted lots of fungi growing out of the grass next to the path to the hide.
Shaggy Ink Caps and some brown ones
Some brown ones and a Shaggy Ink Cap
Brown ones
The same brown ones from above
Small dark brown ones
You'll have noticed we're not too clever with fungi but just because we can't identify them doesn't mean to say we don't look out for them and enjoy them...unlike some people who think all they're good for is smashing to smitherins - as with many other things today ignorance + fear = hate = (all too often) violence.
The only flowering plant we could find in flower in the lawn and immediate longer grassy areas were a few Daisies.
As soon as we got in the hide the wind picked up rattling the tins on the roof and outside the rain lashed down by the bucket load. It wasn't really birding weather. A few gulls bathed (why - they were already soaking wet, could they not have used that water?) in front of us and Coots dived for water weed. It was going to be a difficult hour. Out by the barn a soggy Kestrel gave up hunting and flew through the damaged gable end to shelter inside.

More gulls kept coming in but there were no dodgy ones, the 'regular' Iceland Gull can't be far off reappearing. Most of the gulls were the 'smaller' ones, Black Headed and Common Gulls but a flush by a Heron from our left brought several Herring Gulls and a couple of adult Lesser Black Backed Gulls into view - no Bonaparte's or Ring Billed Gulls driven in by the gales from across the Atlantic unfortunately, Franklin's Gull would be nice!
Below us on the grass running down to the water was a rather soggy Woodpigeon, the only bird to have come anywhere near the lens today.
A flock of Long Tailed Tits whizzed past the window and a Cetti's Warbler sang from the reeds just to our right. Despite the gale force and tropical-style rain winds a Wasp flew past us then back again. Not surprisingly there were no butterflies or dragonflies today.
A couple of distant Reed Buntings dropped into the reeds and a single Collared Dove flew south across the mere then three more but apart from keeping a beady eye on the gulls just in case there was about as much interest as expected in the dire conditions - not a lot! That's not to say it wasn't worth going out, it's always worth going out - if you don't go out you won't see owt, as they say.
Wifey phoned to say she hadn't gone to the shops and was on her way back so we left the hide and walked up the road to meet her. It was then we saw a large Poplar Tree who's deeply fissured bark was covered in a dense coat of lichens and mosses. Lovely shapes and textures.
Where to next? If the duff hand allows, it's been extra duff today, we might try our first short drive up and over the hill to the coast tomorrow arvo on the off chance of a Leach's Petrel, not seen one since the dead one we picked up outside work a couple of years ago.
In the meantime let us know who;s survived the deluge in your outback.

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