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What I do on Mondays!
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buzzy



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 2864
Location: In a small wood on the edge of the Huntingdonshire Wolds
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 17 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Well, last night it rained, and this morning I woke to fog, so I had some doubts as to whether we would get out. However, no texts, 'phone calls or emails told me of cancellation, so I went out for my lift at the usual time and place, and off we went.

We saw assorted skeins of geese flying (and honking) over head. There were several Buzzards, including two perched on a pile of straw bales, looking, as far as one could tell at the distance, rather fed up. There was also a mystery bird, seen only in silhouette, at a distance, that seemed to have a crest, raising hopes of a Waxwing, but those intrepid few who went for a closer view didn't get a good sighting, I suppose it has to go down as a Waxwasn't!

We did, however, see what we went to see, the Scarlet Elf Cup (Sarcoscypha coccinea):




These were very young specimens, and coyly hiding beneath dead leaves, unlike the ones we usually see at a different site which burst proudly through the moss.

If we had got to this site earlier (cancelled twice because of rain) we probably would have been to early,

Henry

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32126
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 17 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

afaik most of the waxwings have gone to tesco's in huddersfield ( not shopping ,there are quite a lot of berry bearing trees )

linky

last year they were here eating hawthorn on the ings

buzzy



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 2864
Location: In a small wood on the edge of the Huntingdonshire Wolds
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 17 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

dpack wrote:
afaik most of the waxwings have gone to tesco's in huddersfield ( not shopping ,there are quite a lot of berry bearing trees )

linky

last year they were here eating hawthorn on the ings




So that's where they are!

Henry

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 7987

PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 17 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

An interesting sighting, and nice picture.

Buzzy, your elf caps are rather nice too. We had some years ago, but haven't seen any lately.

Saw the first snowdrops in the lane to the woods yesterday, and found some bluebell leaves in the coup we were working. Have only seen very few further south and further downhill in the woods so far, so they have decided to make a move this week as it is wet and mild.

buzzy



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 2864
Location: In a small wood on the edge of the Huntingdonshire Wolds
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 17 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

This week it was a bit foggy, though not as bad as it was two weeks ago, and the fog did clewar and give us some warm sunshine.

Lots of ducks (Pintail, Shelduck, Wigeon etc) and waders including lots of Lapwing and Black-tailed Godwit, with a few Ruff and Dunlin. Several Marsh Harriers, scaring flocks of birds into flight as they passed overhead, and very good, albeit distant, views of a hunting Barn Owl who was out early (or perhaps late) and we speculated that it might be trying to feed a brood of young. It plunged to the ground several times but we saw no certain signs that it caught anything.

There ere also distant (very) Cranes (grey blobs in the misty distance) and Roe Deer (dark brown blobs in the misty distance).

There were no Bewick's or Whooper Swans but there were a few Mute Swans (Cygnus olor) and these two provided some nice reflections, I thought:




Lots of small birds - a big flock of mainly Linnets, with a few Goldfinches in amongst them. And a pair of Stonechats, the male posing nicely at the top of a reed.

Henry

Lorrainelovesplants



Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 6416
Location: Cornwall
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 17 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Henry, Ive started looking at your posts and looking forward to seeing more. Wonderful snippets of fascination!
Thanks.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 7987

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 17 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I love them too. Always something of interest.

Apart from the probably peregrine falcon, mainly robins to report here. I had one talking to me yesterday in the woods, then heard it singing properly, so sounds as if it might be setting up a territory, although they do seem to be territorial all year to some extent.

buzzy



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 2864
Location: In a small wood on the edge of the Huntingdonshire Wolds
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 17 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks, Lorrainelovesplants and Mistress Rose for you kind comments. I'm pleased that you enjoy my reports of my Monday wanderings.

As for Peregrines, at the start yesterday somebody did say "Perhaps we shall see a PF." But we didn't. And there was a moment when somebody said "I think there is a Merlin on that gatepost over there - oh no, it's a Fieldfare." It was foggy and the bird was a long way away.

Henry

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 7987

PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 17 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Well I suppose there are some similarities between a merlin and a fieldfare; they are both sort of brown.

Heard a thrush in the wood on Monday, so birds are starting to get territorial.

buzzy



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 2864
Location: In a small wood on the edge of the Huntingdonshire Wolds
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 17 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

This Monday, despite dire predictions the previous week for freezing weather conditions, we actually had a very pleasant sunny walk, though it was warmer when we were out of the wind, it is true. This was planned to be a rather ornithological walk - those who have telescopes brought them. Wandering through the birch woodland to reach the bird hide, we spotted several of these strange growths:




I haven't yet tracked down what it is (but I have been offline a bit, my new computer is playing up and did the usual trick that computers do - worked perfectly once I'd schlepped into the shop with it ).

At the hide we saw several Mute Swans and Whooper Swans, a few ducks, and good views of Red Kites. We also had (reasonably) good views of a Chinese Water Deer, as it trotted through the reeds, pausing to browse now and then and occasionally waggle its ears at us. Those who were quick on the draw with their cameras got some quite nice pics, but by the time I'd got my camera out it had settled down to chew the cud and all one could see was an occasional glimpse of ear tip.

There was a fairly distant Little Egret, as well.

Henry

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 7987

PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 17 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I think it is a burr Henry. Much prized by wood turners as they can make lovely bowls. I looked up birch canker and it definitely isn't that. In other trees it usually happens when you get epicormic growth at a single point; that is, lots of twigs coming out at one point. In the birch and some other trees they are not really viable, so they die and leave the burr.

buzzy



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 2864
Location: In a small wood on the edge of the Huntingdonshire Wolds
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 17 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks M R. I remember that in Norfolk one of our large Beech trees had a similar looking growth about ten feet up. Eventually the tree snapped at that point ( not in a strong wind, as I recall). I suppose we might have retrieved some useful turning wood from it.

Henry

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 7987

PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 17 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

They are much prized as the figuring in them is amazing. We have an oak tree that has loads of epicormic growth on it. When it is felled it will be worth far more in the lumpy bits than the rest of the timber. Can't really turn it very easily on a pole lathe, and I have found field maple burrs awful for spoon carving, but can work well on an electric lathe.

buzzy



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 2864
Location: In a small wood on the edge of the Huntingdonshire Wolds
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 17 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I forgot to mention that the Beech tree was also attacked by Ganoderma applanatum, at the base of the trunk.

Henry

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 7987

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 17 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

That isn't uncommon and as long as it is only in one part of the trunk the tree can continue to live for years. For some reason we have quite a lot of trees in our wood, mainly beech, that have hollows in the base and sometimes on the branches too. Although they may well be 'on the way out', even our most badly affected tree is still with us after 15 years. We did have one large tree go over; we call it the 'Fallen Giant', and the butt of that that was too big to cut up is now sporting a good range of fungi.

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