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Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Foggy Patch and a Fungi Safari

Saturday 20th... Patch
I set out optimistically on Saturday to walk the circuit of of my patch, only to rapidly realise that the fog was lot worse that had been apparent from the house. Unperturbed I pushed on, patch birders are hardcore like that ;@) used to trying to get blood out of a stone.Besides there has been little reason to stray further afield, with the birding scene fairly stale at the moment. The other thing is you have to gather the negatives, as it's all information. I've had no Yellowhammers the last few weeks, no Kestrel. Only by recording what is present, or not, on a  patch over time can you get a proper feel for what is happening, why and looking for trends.
Anyway, the common stuff was still calling, even if it wasn't always showing, and I noticed a slight increase in Chaffinch  numbers in an area I have seen decent finch flocks in recent years, some of which have held Brambling, so that was something to note.
I will cut to the chase, in a section where the fog was at it's thickest, 2 Swallows pushed across a field, low, close and south bound, a good late record.
I also stumbled across a Field Vole that had perished on the path. I took a record shot, it may be useful info for the Worcestershire Biological Records of their presence, after all I am unlikely to see one alive normally.
Finally, on the homeward stretch, 9 Meadow Pipits flew over. This was actually a patch tick for me. So, whilst the walk was damp and fog bound, I actually eeked out 3 interesting ( if unspectacular) observations for the patch.

Field Vole

Sunday 21st... Devils Spittleful
More fog. I had arranged with Jason K to do a walk around the Devil's Spittleful Nature Reserve. I had never actually ventured onto that side of the A456 so although the premise was a fungi forage, for me it was also about getting the lie of the land. I'm not hugely into fungi , I like them as much from a aesthetic point of view and the thrill of hunting out a good specimen. It fills a void with the birding being a bit stale and the inverts as good as over.
It was an enjoyable 3 hours. Bird wise, Redwing flock over, 4 Buzzards, a Kestrel, Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker, several Jays and Mipits stood out. On the invert front, a surprise in finding a Small Copper still knocking about. On the large feline mammal front, a Lion roared loudly, but thankfully it was the other side of the fence on the Safari Park site.
The fungi were decent if not spectacular. I have posted the pics of the pick of the bunch.
Rosey Bonnet ( cheers JK)

Small Copper, definitely

Yellow Brain Fungus, for sure

Lion !


  1. Still working through some of the weekend's fungi myself Mark!

    well put about patch birding and monitoring the every day to build up a bigger picture. It's an important aspect of what its all about!

  2. I totally agree with your statement on patch birding Mark and recording what you do and don't see. It's important to monitor such things as it builds up a fuller picture