Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Down to 7

It wasn't raining, so off I went with my camera to look for the Waxwings. Found them easily enough flying around at the roundabout  junction of Waldridge Road and Warkworth Drive. There seems to be only seven birds left now. They landed in the trees behind the bus stop and I rattled off a few photos but the light wasn't good and they were at the very tops. Quite a few people stopped and asked what I was doing and seemed quite interested, or bemused (delete as applicable) but they do now have Waxwing on their lists.

Waxwings at the roundabout
As I was already out, I went for a little wander and walked down the bank, left at the doctors surgery and into Cong Burn Woods. Very,  very muddy after all the rain and a bit quiet too.Most of the vegetation is brown now and with little leaf cover remaining, so different from a few months ago. Several species of ferns were still green and I photographed a few including Broad Buckler Fern and Scaly Male Fern.
Scaly male fern growing by the Cong Burn
Five Redwings flew out the tree and 3 Lesser Redpoll flew over but that was it on the bird front.

The underside of Broad Buckler Fern showing the spores
and the same of Scaly Male Fern 

I then checked the nearby Tribley farm ponds.Lots of water in them and three Teal flew off with a pair of Mallard and a Grey Heron. The fields have been sown with winter cereal and more than 220 Curlew were feeding in them, together with 150 Lapwing and 25 Black-headed Gull.

Part of the flock of Lapwings.
 I walked back through the woods and just as I was about to exit I saw this.

Having ruled out Triffid, I reckon its  the remains of a fungus, Common Puffball (Lycoperdon perlatum) which has popped open and shed its spores then filled with water and algae has started to grow on it. Very strange.
Anyway up the bank through the village and over the top where I saw a very nice lichen, one of the Reindeer-mosses Cladonia portenosa which was new for me

The Lichen Cladonia portenosa

Back through South Burn Woods, which had a lot more birds than the Cong Burn, in part due to a roaming tit flock,  that included 3 Willow Tit, 2 Tree-creeper and a pair of Bullfinch

One of two Tree-creepers in the Tit flock

A nice finish to a cold winter walk and I only got wet the once.

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