Wednesday, 8 December 2010

An apple a day

I pass by this apple tree on the way to work, and have wondered whether I'll catch sight of any birds tucking into the remaining fruit as I go by. A couple of days ago I spotted this Blackbird enjoying a healthy breakfast, and this morning it appeared again, joined by a companion. A handy source of energy at a time when food supplies are limited.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Beckett Park winterscapes

A view of Beckett Park taken on my way into work this week. As the sun rises it filters through this copse of deciduous trees, primarily beech, but with some oak, elder and ash. The trunks and near bare branches appear silhouetted against the sunlight with long shadows cast on the snow covered ground.

Although I have to admit to being a bit fed up of the snow now, all the trudging, slipping and sliding, and the severe effects of weather extremes on the local wildlife, I can't say I tire of how it transforms the landscape into a winter wonderland.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Adel Dam Nature Reserve

On Sunday afternoon we jumped on the bus to Goldenacre Park, how cold it was or rather how cold I was, words cannot convey. Discomfort aside we headed for Adel Dam, a local Yorkshire Wildlife Trust reserve. The Marsh Hide feeders were busy with smaller woodland birds including of a pair of Bullfinch, Nuthatch, Robin, Blue Tits, Long Tail Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, along with a sorry looking Magpie, Blackbird, a pair of Moor Hen, and 6 Squirrels, though sadly no sign of the Great Spotted Woodpecker today.

From the second hide, overlooking Adel Dam, only the far reaches of the dam remained unfrozen, kept clear by the current of the inflowing Adel Beck. An assortment of footprints were visible across the frozen surface.

From the left, flying low, heading directly for the unfrozen patch of water zipped the electric blue of a Kingfisher, our first ever sighting of the bird here at Adel Dam. This pic is taken at a distance, but its plumage colouration is unmistakable, it perched here for a few minutes before heading off, hopefully with better luck elsewhere, according to the RSPB website they're particularly vulnerable to hard winters. 

As the Kingfisher made its exit, on the far bank we could just make out the profile of a Roe Deer, well camouflaged amongst the snow and bare branches.


Having endured enough of the cold temperatures made worse by sitting still in the hide for a few minutes, we followed the woodland trail back through the reserve and found this fungi.  I'm guessing its Pleurotus sp. Buff coloured, convex cap, the gills are cream coloured and decurrent, growing in abundant clumps on a deciduous stump. Any help with the ID would be greatly appreciated.

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