Weather: Overcast, dull, cool, light breeze.
Observers: Kaj, Kallan, Ian
Our run of beautiful weather on Wednesday mornings couldn’t last! Today, the autumn colours were rather muted by the dull light. But, with very little wind, our bird population was quite active, and there were still a few flowering plants around. The water level in Tang Hall beck was still quite high.
Birds: The new bird feeder, installed in the Environment Centre garden a few weeks ago, is continuing to attract a wide range of species. This morning, the feeder was being used by Bullfinches, Greenfinches, Goldfinches, Blue and Great Tits and House Sparrows, whilst underneath the feeder, Dunnocks and one of our female Pheasants hoovered up any seed spilt by the other birds.
In a nearby tree, a pair of Collared Doves proved by their mutual preening, that any time is courting time for doves!
Out in the reserve, there are still many Blackbirds. We counted around 30 in different parts of the reserve. One was notable for having a pure white tail feather. Redwings are still on the reserve, and two were seen briefly to the North of the playground.
We encountered a few mixed tit feeding flocks, one with about a dozen Blue and Great Tits and a party of about 15 Long-tailed Tits. Although we checked out the Alders for Siskins, we found none. But the large flock of Goldfinches were actively feeding on the Alder cones.
The usual crows were all over the reserve – Carrion Crows, Jackdaws and Magpies, with a couple of the latter foraging in the meadow next to the playground.
Over the Environment Centre, a Black-headed Gull noisily chased away a Sparrowhawk and Starlings were whistling away from their usual perch on the power lines to the North of the reserve.. Sightings of Robin and the usual Woodpigeons brought the total number of species recorded to 20 – not bad for a dull November morning!
Flowers: There are still a few left, if you look carefully! There were still a few Tufted Vetch in flower, along with Hedge Bindweed, Great Mullain, Red Clover, Spear Thistle, Tansy (amazingly!) and what we thought was Cabbage Thistle (see photo).
Mammals: We had just a couple of sightings of Grey Squirrel near Tang Hall Beck.
Fungi: The large clump of Tricholoma cingulatum, seen last week, was still in good shape, but we didn’t look hard enough to find any other fungi.