Sunday, 29 November 2009

Fairbun Ings Kingfisher

Andrea enjoyed the Kingfisher Safari at Fairburn Ings recently, here's her account of the trip.

With the weather fine but windy, Graham our volunteer guide made it clear there were no guarantees that the bird would put in an appearance. It was far too windy for them at the Pickup Hide so we moved onto the Kingfisher Screen. No sign of Kingfishers initially although we did watch a tiny Dabchick catch a huge fish which to our amazement it swallowed in one gulp. Sure enough after 15 minutes there was a flash of blue & orange downstream & a male Kingfisher settled on a branch a fair distance away where it stayed for 10 minutes. We left him to it & we searched elsewhere on the reserve. Our wanderings were rewarded by the sight of a huge Hare being chased by a Weasel, luckily for the Hare our party ended up between the two sending the Weasel in the opposite direction.


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

Goldenacre Park fungi foray

This weekend's trip to Goldenacre Park, Leeds presented a bounty of fantastic looking fungi. What a great way to get back into the swing of things. As a novice fungi explorer, this is the first time Ive noticed the autumn fungi boom & its great to see such a diverse range of forms, colour & texture. All of these species were found in a relatively small area within mixed woodland near Arthington Road Car Park, the wooded area runs parallel to the road & is certainly worth a visit. I'm keen to post them today & will try to identify them over the next few days.








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