Friday 31 October 2014

At Last.

One of the highlights of Autumn is the appearance of Fungi, and the warmer weather and dampness has really helped them sprout up all over the place, from gardens to paths and of course the rotting stumps of old trees.
Probably the most famous of the fungi has got to be the old dwarf seat, or umbrella. Instantly identifiable by it white spotted red cap and white stalk the Fly Agaric, it attracts a lot of photographers fly's, slugs and a few other things..

So not to be left out! here are a few of the weekend captures.

The Fly agaric early capture
Allo! he lost he's spots
A little close up/
Another duo.
"Crumbs" theirs loads of them.
A spotless Agaric?
Its a bit of a guess but, I think that as the sheath breaks so as the fruit can grow to its full size the detached sheath shrinks to form the well known white clusters on the agarics red top. I wondered if as they were pushing up through the strands of grass these white clusters are rubbed of  or pushed to the bottom leaving this under ring of clusters. as per the shot above?


Of the fungi found most were or had gone over. or passed their best So with this being the possible last decent fungi foraging weekend. Goodness knows what will be found but I am sure the warm moist conditions will be just right and of course those lovely Autumn colours are in full movement.

Monday 20 October 2014

Moments of Mammilian delight

The annual Deer Rut is one of the amazing spectacles available to the general public in woodlands and parks throughout the United Kingdom. Occurring from mid Oct to Mid November and later.
 The barking of the Fallow deer and the roaring of the Red deer are sounds of the ancient woodlands and is a spectacle not to be missed.

So a day out in, for example, Richmond park, Exmoor, and a other sites around the country is certainly worth the effort to see these magnificent beasts showing their metal for the hinds.

So with bags packed cameras cleaned and checked and the most important, flasks of hot water for coffee, it was off for an early arrival. The Fallow were barking and one or two red deer stags were roaring and or wallowing and parading festooned with odd bits of vegetation. A few photos from the day follow.

After a full on wallow
As much as he roared the hinds seemed to be ignoring him.

But still he kept up his patrolling.

A face mask of mud and weeds.

And now he looks so much more butch.

Bit of a parade.

Looking his best.

So he is off for the girls.

A little cool down for this fallow deer.

There are a number of pale examples .

The normal form.

Of this guy.
There are many other shots, but think that's enough for today, the place will get another visit very soon as I am sure the Red Deer Rut will be in full swing, I hope!
So why not get out and about? Cannock chase, Powis castle, Lym country park or even Attingham although not so easy at times, or Tatton park all have deer of both species and see what you can achieve. just don't approach to close and do not get between a Stag and his hinds.
Catch you later..

Thursday 9 October 2014

The Joy of something new!

The requirement of having to go to Southampton, presented a well cool opportunity to spend  three days at one the RSPB's premier reserves. The prospect of Bittern, Bearded Tits and harriers let alone the waders and possible deer on the reserve with Dartford Warblers in the vicinity it had the makeup of an exciting weekend.

A most exacting challenge was spotting a Cetti's Warbler low amongst the reeds, HA! more chance of meeting the moomins!! whilst the Passerine count was very low considering the local.

So lets have a look at what was got!

Purple Sandpiper
Black-tailed Godwit

High contrast Godwit

Male Gadwall

Little Grebe

Little Stint

Purple Sandpiper

High Contrast Redshank

Little Stint and worm

Bearded Tits, early am

Minsmere RSPB reserve, is a place I shall be returning to as often as is possible. In particular both April and May , at the hight of the migration or even a good winter visit .we shall see of course, so return soon.