I was back in the Midlands visiting family this weekend which of course meant that the painful experience of watching Saturday night reality TV had to be endured. I could bore you with details of who danced the best Rumba or which wannabe singer actually managed to hit a note, but to be honest I couldn’t care less. Instead I shall concentrate on the morning where we spent a couple of hours wandering around Ipsley Alders Marsh. It is one of the last remnants of a landscape that used to dominate the area Redditch now occupies, and despite being hemmed in on all sides by residential expansion still manages to feel isolated and ancient.
Our arrival was greeted by the calls of a large Long Tailed Tit flock so we paused to await their appearance. Listening to them approach was like waiting for a jet to pass overhead. Volume and intensity steadily increased with nothing visible through the still thick vegetation, until all of a sudden they were upon us. What had been a tranquil scene was suddenly a chaotic mass of swirling wings as the tiny birds moved rapidly from tree to tree, passing through within a matter of moments. Amongst them we glimpsed an occasional Goldcrest, Blue Tit and Great Tit whilst Robins and Wrens struggled to make themselves heard above the din. Out in the open and once again enjoying the peace we were pleased to see a Buzzard and a pair of Sparrowhawks above the trees. Their presence here no doubt explains my sightings of the latter species in and around a couple of local gardens. Other birds seen included a Goldfinch and Song Thrush, but still no sign of my first autumn Redwing. With a visit to Norfolk on the cards soon however it can only be a matter of time.
There was even more interest to be found on the ground where a fascinating array of Fungi were thriving in the damp conditions. Regular readers will know that this is an area where I have been trying to increase my knowledge recently so I set about photographing as many as I could. I’ve spent the best part of this evening trying to identify each in turn and these are the results.
Artist’s Fungus (Ganoderma applanatum)
Common Funnel (Clitocybe gibba)
Common Bonnet (Mycena galericulata)
Cinnamon Webcap (Cortinarius cinnamomeus)
Yellow Knight (Tricholoma equestre)
As always the above names are correct to the best of my abilities, but please let me know if I’ve got anything wrong.