Wednesday, 31 December 2014
Arrived at a very cold and frosty Ham Wall at around 08:30. Everywhere was covered in a thick layer of frost making a 'Narnia' type scene, really beautiful. The levels took on a truly magical quality! The frosty look only lasted an hour or so as the temperature increased and then a quick thaw.
We made our way towards the new hide taking in the beauty of the scene along the way. Most areas of water were well frozen forcing duck species etc out to the middle of the water areas. Plenty of smaller bird species flying around Robin, Blackbird,Dunnock, Long Tailed Tit, Blue & Great Tit. From the first platform we caught a fleeting glimpse of a Bittern one of 3 we would see today. From both platforms there were plenty of Shoveler, Tufted, Gadwall and Lapwings.
The highlight of the day had to be seeing a male and female Bearded Tit feeding with a Reed Bunting on the path very near the entrance to the new hide, only there for a minute and then gone but wow!!!! Had a good fleeting view of a Water Rail from the new hide also.
On the Shapwick side we were surprised to see 3 Goosander on the canal, but each time anyone got close they soon took flight but always returned. Plenty of Kingfishers also along the canal bank today probably because their usual areas were frozen. We were also lucky to see a couple of Marsh Harriers , another 2 Bitterns and 2 Great White Egrets. In the wooded areas plenty of Goldcrests and a Treecreeper etc. Other birds of note were a Stonechat and a few Chiffchaffs.
At Greylake which was also frozen there were plenty of Widgeon a few Snipe, Kestrel, Buzzard and once again some great but fleeting views of Water Rail.
All in all a top class birding day with 44 species seen. Most photos record shots but just so good to see all those birds!
Frosted trees at Ham Wall
Winter sun on the Levels
Beardies on the path - record shot but so good to see!
Snipe on ice
Monday, 3 November 2014
We decided to return to Dolebury Warren for a great Autumnal walk which also took in the Rowberrow area and part of Blackdown a total of 8 miles. We trekked through woodland, field and downland all these various environments yielding some great fungi. Highlights of the day were finding the stunning purple Amethyst Deciever and finding a Cep which was massive, did not realise that a type of fungus could grow so big. Must have found over 30 different fungi types on our walk each one perfect in its own way! Still a good number of Fly Agarics to be found in different areas as well.
So good to have the sun with us on our trek, the light on the trees and fallen leaves producing an array of amazing Autumn colours. Great time of year!
Porcelain fungus (Oudemansiella mucida) on fallen Beechwood
Beechwood in Autumn - a copper carpet
Unknown fungi - Dolebury Warren
Great set of gills - Dolebury Warren
More gills - another fungi type on Dolebury Warren
Looked like a chocolate fungi - Dolebury Warren
Small pink fungi - Dolebury Warren
Yet another unknown - great colour
Common Puffball gathering
Unknown - a great group of colour though
Life in the trees
First sighting of a Cep - well chunky!
A Cep, this one was massive. The biggest fungi we have ever seen!
Found in with the conifers a great colour but ID unknown
Yellow Stagshorn - a good sized group found in with the conifers
Brittlegill of sorts
Beautiful Fly Agaric
Amethyst Deciever coming through the Beech leaves. So pleased to have found these fungi at long
last. What a stunning colour
Tuesday, 28 October 2014
Our walk started at Burrington Coombe and took us up the steep Link Lane to the bottom level of the heights of Blackdown. A few more fungi species are appearing now in the woodland edges of Link Lane, must be due to all the recent rain and mild weather!
Blackdown looks amazing with its copper tones of leaves and Bracken but our path was leading us on towards the grassland of Dolebury Warren.
The total walk was only 5 miles across upland and through woods. A walk of great Autumn colours and views and a fantastic amount of different fungi species of all shapes, sizes and colours.
The surprise of the day was the discovery of a great 'gathering' of Fly Agaric, the sight was pure magic and believe it or not made me a bit emotional because of the beauty, colour and perfection of what we saw. This has to be one of the best walks for fungi and we will return!
Mycena? With pin mould. One fungus attacking another ( thanks to Steve Balcome for info)
Deep in the woods
Tiny fungi in the grass on the warren
Parasol - banquet for some!
So delicate - a work of art
Looks good enough to eat!!!
Tiny 'hats' within the grass
Parasol - there were plenty across the warren, a massive size as well quite spectacular
Macrolepiota excoriata- a smoother cousin of the Parasol
Meadow Puffball - plenty of these in the grassland
Unknown fungi - almost sculpted growing into the grass
Tiny puffball? In the moss
Puffball type this time in the woods
Tiny and delicate in the grass
Fallen Parasol - bit of a breeze this morning!
Crimson Waxcap - only a few found in the grassland, but what colours!
Crimson Waxcap and friend
Life in the woods
Pushing through the leaves
Autumn woodland scene - golden leaves and huge Bracket fungus on a large old Beech
Colour in the moss
Deep in the conifers!
Fly Agaric - a young one