Thursday, 9 November 2017
A beautiful sunny morning for a trek on the Mendips. Our walk started at Tynings farm and took us through wood and forest towards the lower slopes of Dolebury Warren. Along the way we searched the woods for fungi but alas no signs anywhere! We watched for some time a Sparrowhawk try to catch a Magpie and also saw a Kestrel, Buzzard, Ravens and flocks of Redwings fly over.
Up the steep steps to Dolbury Warren where the grasslands revealed some lovely fungi finds mainly Waxcaps. We love finding the Crimson Waxcap almost as much as spotting a Fly Agaric. We even saw 2 butterflies today a Red Admiral and a Small Tortoiseshell trying their best to find sheltered sunny spots.
Our walk then took us back up the woods to join the path on Blackdown. Much of Blackdown has now been harvested of its bracken (the bracken used for fuel) and I wonder how this will affect cover for wildlife?
Still some superb Autumn colours out there on what was a challenging hilly walk but none the less very enjoyable with some lovely fungi discoveries along the way.
This emerging Waxcap was massive
Typical 'Blair Witch' woods!
A very misty start delayed our journey to Chew Valley but as we travelled over the Mendips the mist started to clear. We arrived at Chew and Herons Green lay by at about 10am to the most picturesque scene of still water, blue skies, Autumn colours and reflections with just a little mist in the distance and no fewer than 29 Great White Egrets with hundreds of ducks etc feeding in the bay. Just simply breathtaking! Plenty of Little Egrets also present as well as a few Black tailed Godwits, a single Green Sandpiper, Tufted, Mallards, Wigeon, Teal, Cormorants, Great Crested Grebes, Herons numerous gulls and the first Goosanders of the winter.
Not too much to report from Villice hide as a fishing boat came into the bay and every bird just upped sticks and flew away. There was however a lone Dunlin before the boat appeared. A quick drive to the dam area and there was a lone female Goldeneye amongst the ducks.
There were reports of Water Pipits from Moreton Hide but alas we didn't see them. So another trip back to Herons Green to see the wonderful show of Great Egrets. We could watch this stunning bird for ages its flight, the way it fishes and stalks simply amazing. In fact the whole drama with all the birds at Herons Green today was priceless! We can't wait to return as winter progresses.
Did the fish live to swim another day?