Thursday, 9 November 2017

Late Autumn Mendip Fungi 6/11

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.

    Brittlegill

                


   Brittlegill

                
                   Along the trail

   Great Autumn colours

                




               




               
                   Just can't beat a beech tree for colour

   View across Dolebury 

               
                   Crimson Waxcap



                




               
                    This emerging Waxcap was massive



               
                    Red Admiral catching some rays

  Honey Waxcaps?

                




               




                
                   Scarlet Waxcap

   Snowy Waxcap

                




               
                   Unknown fungi

   Love the gills

                




                
                   Small Tortoiseshell, last of the season?

   Surprised to see a Violet flowering

               


   Meadow Waxcap

               




               




                

   Fallen Funnels

                




                




                
                   All leaves fallen, winter woods

   Typical 'Blair Witch' woods!

Chew Valley Lake 2/11 Great White Egret Festival

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.

    Great White Egrets 


                

    16 Great White Egrets


               
                   Black tailed Godwit




                
                    Double trouble
      

    Tricky fish
   
               
                   Pity the poor fish



               
                   A heron gets in on the act




               




                


   Goosanders- female

                
                   Male and female Goosanders 



               




                
                   Pretty female

   The striking male

               




                
                   Love the shapes and angles of the Egrets as they come into land



                
                   Morag and Mary ..... 




               
                   Great and Little

   Leap of faith
                




                
                   Female Goldeneye from the dam



                
                   Single Dunlin seen

   Several Moorhen seen

               


   Dramatic entrance

               



               




                




               




               


    He's behind you!

               




               





               


   Coming through...

                


    Little Egret

                




                




               


    The Little Egret 

               


   Striking yellow feet on the Little Egret

                


   It was this big!

                
                   The catch and chase in pictures.....



               
                    A big fish even the Cormorant did a double take!



                


   A Heron spots the catch and gives chase             

                                         




                




               
                   Looks like no one gets the fish



               
                   Did the fish live to swim another day?