Monday, 28 December 2009
Saturday, 26 December 2009
Then we headed downstream, from the bridge at Redcote Lane we spotted 5 overwintering Goosander, two pairs and one single male. Perhaps two of these birds were the pair we saw a couple of weeks ago upstream near the Abbey. Although not a great shot of the bird (bottom left) I do like a context shot now & again so here you get to see Kirkstall/Burley in the background (well it is Christmas). A Grey Heron flew overhead whilst we watched the Goosander.
Between Redcote Bridge & the canal 6 Redwing settled in the treetops, slightly too far away for a decent pic.
Tuesday, 22 December 2009
Monday, 21 December 2009
By the footpath behind Queenswood Drive this apple tree still bears fruit, welcome winter gifts for local birds.
On the edge of Beckett Park woodland we paused for a minute to hear a familiar tap tap tap of the Great Spotted Woodpecker in the treetops. A passerby mentioned that the woodpecker regularly visits the feeders in her nearby garden, I wondered whether its the same bird I spotted back in February.
Thursday, 17 December 2009
A few flakes of snow are visible on the gills of this already upturned cap & stem fungi, a further flurry fell just after I returned to the office much to our excitement.
Monday, 14 December 2009
The next pic shows how well hidden the birds are against the winter vegetation.
A male Reed Bunting darting over Tim's Field to settle on a bare branch.
A Kestrel patrolled the reserve throughout the duration of our visit, Grey Heron and Cormorants flew overhead. On the way to the Manager's Garden we popped into the visitors centre for a warming cuppa and a slice of tea loaf, yum. Refuelled and onwards to the Manager's Garden where a pair of Great Spotted Woodpecker paid a brief visit to the delight of all present. On the feeders male and female Reed Bunting, Great Tit, Robin, Blackbird, Blue Tit all fed happily until the arrival of an incredibly noisy Magpie scared them all away.
Sunday, 6 December 2009
The same fungi from the opposite view, I'm guessing that the cold weather has caused it to collapse & split .
Sunday, 29 November 2009
In the lakeside hide we waited patiently & then returned to the Kingfisher Screen where one of the volunteers was setting up a new perch much closer to the screen. He had a friend with him with a lens the size of a small car hoping for a good view. The commotion meant it would clearly be some time before the bird returned and so we ended our tour.
I left Fairburn to get some lunch but was tempted back as it was the first dry day we'd enjoyed for ages. I returned to the Kingfisher Screen to find the volunteer and his friend still in place. They pointed out a Kingfisher in the trees to the right of the stream, even further away than our first sighting. They reported that the bird had sat there for some time & showed no interest in the new perch. Eventually they gave up and moved on. Five minutes passed I glanced away from the screen for a couple of seconds and when I looked back the Kingfisher had gone. I was disappointed until I spotted a flash of blue and to my amazement the next place it settled was the very perch at which the volunteer had waited for 2 hours! It settled at various points on the river for the next few minutes and eventually flew overhead to fish further downstream. I reported my sighting to the visitor centre and the other volunteers all had a laugh at their friends expense although I'm sure he will have an opportunity for better views more often than I so I didn't feel too guilty.
Monday, 16 November 2009
Monday, 19 October 2009
An inquisitive Robin settled within a spades distance whilst Andrea weeded the vegetable bed. It eagerly hopped down from its perch amongst the gooseberries to collect worms from recently turned soil. It’s a regular autumn visitor & this year I’ll try to get some pics. The hedgerow running one side of the plot is well established & consists of Hawthorn, Poplar, Field Maple, Climbing Rose & some pretty ferocious brambles. It provides food & shelter for a number of visitors, today a squirrel scurried acrobatically from branch to branch, feathered inhabitants included Blue Tits, Long Tailed Tits, Goldfinch, Blackbird & Wood Pigeon.
Sunday, 18 October 2009
Here's one found lying on the ground nearby, you can see the fruitbodies are joined together at the base.
Another illustration of the joined fruitbodies.
Common Earthball, Scleroderma citrinum growing amongst deciduous leaf litter.