Wednesday, 13 October 2010

New Hythe 13th October

It was grey, cloudy and refreshingly cool when I arrived at Brooklands this morning where I was immediately greeted by two smart Grey Wagtails. I was half hoping to kick off Autumn with a Redwing or two. It didn't happen. But I did add to my New Hythe October list so all was not lost.

Brooklands lake maintained it's poor recent showing with nowt but a few Tufties a pair of Mute Swans and a handful of Coots as is the norm recently. On the river the tide was ebbing but still fairly high. Mallard, Moorhen, Heron, Cormorant, LBB Gull and five Teal were all spotted. The sunken marsh was pretty quiet as well. But a Great Spotted Woodpecker clinging to a telegraph pole, sending morse maybe, a nice male Blackcap, and a Sparrowhawk spiralling tightly upwards with an attendant Magpie making an unlikely looking pair, all added to the interest. Further on where the path opens out and leaves the marsh I heard the now familiar call of a Goldcrest and with a little patience I managed a quick glimpse of it, bringing my tally of these little gems here to four in the last couple of weeks. Still a long way to go to reach the numbers of 2008/09 but it's getting there. One more sighting of note, just before I crossed the railway line was a surprise hen Pheasant (46). I haven't seen one for a while and never before in this particular area.

The East Scrub was my main hope for a Redwing but as I said earlier it wasn't to be. The closest I came was a Song Thrush and much as I tried I couldn't turn it into one of it's cousins. Goldfinch, Jay and Green Woodpecker were also seen here as was a small flock of Greylags. I wondered if they were the same ones that I heard honking noisily over our house in the early hours this morning! It seems like bird photo's are harder to find than Hen's teeth at the moment. But two creatures that did oblige today were the Newt eft above, found with a couple of it's friends under a piece of wood. And the young Slow worm below which was only about five inches long and was very striking with his light coloured top half and solid black lower half.
It was on the edge of the Scrub that I met Den and Doreen Capeling who accompanied me over to Johnsons lake in the hope of finding some Pochard (47) which we did, eight of them in all and in the same area was a single Gadwall, which bought the October NH list to 48.
The return trip along the river path and back through the sunken marsh swelled the day list with the addition of two Little Egrets, a couple of Little Grebes, a Greenfinch, a small flock of Swallows, a distant Kestrel and a Pied Wagtail (49) on the papermill roof.

There's a lot of different fungi around the lakes at the moment. I'm not really into them, I've got enough on my plate trying to ID everything else, but this one caught my eye. If anybody recognises it i'd be pleased to hear from them.
Thanks again to Greenie for IDing it as an immature Parasol Mushroom and to Jan for confirming it. Click on the names to visit their blogs.

Yes, I know i've posted lots of Lizards lately but it really surprised me today to see this one just by the entrance to the car park in such cool conditions. He's shedding his skin as well by the looks of it. I can't imagine i'll find any more this year. But if I do I promise not to post a picture of it!
Lastly, I nearly forgot to mention a Mistle thrush in the top of the tree by the newly opened Brooklands Cafe and a fly by Collared Dove which was species number 42 for the day and 50 for the NH October list.
And on a personal note, a quick hello to Stephanie who became my 21st 'follower' recently. Thanks Steph, hope all is going well at Uni and hope to see you soon.


Warren Baker said...

I might be 22 ahead of you Phil, but you've mention 6 birds today that I havn't got on my months list!

Warren Baker said...

that should read 23 ahead :-)

Greenie said...

Phil ,
You certainly kept the list ticking over today , and got a good variety of shots too .
Your fungi is a 'juvenile' Lepiota procera-Parasol Mushroom . It will look more 'mushroomy' when it grows up .
Keep an eye on the scrub near the railway , especially where the rabbits keep the grass cropped , very good area for Wax Caps .

Bob Bushell said...

It is funny, that you find things that I couldn't dream of. The Lizard is one of them, especially late in autumn.

Phil said...

Sorry mate, forgot about your Fieldfares, 23 it is!

Thanks again for your constant help, i'll alter the post accordingly.

Nice to hear from you. I'm surprised about the lateness of the Lizard, not to mention the Slow worm! Still following your blog by the way. I aspire to produce images such as yours!

ShySongbird said...

Hi Phil, I really should check first! I trawled through my book and eventually decided your mystery fungi was an immature Parasol Mushroom and as I scrolled down to the comments button the horrible truth occurred to me that probably Greenie had got there first...and of course...he had! Oh well at least I was right :)

As long as you keep seeing those Lizards I, for one, am happy to see them, it seems to be the only way I ever do!

Anonymous said...

Smart Slow Worm & Parasol pics, Phil.

Phil said...

You certainly were right. Thanks for confirming my mystery mushroom.

DEAN. Thanks a lot.