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Author Topic: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald  (Read 59706 times)

Hoy

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #735 on: December 18, 2019, 02:36:39 PM »
..........

I don't think we have any similar projects going on here in Norway,  .....


Have to correct myself! I just read that they restore some bogs close to Oslo. They started this summer (2019). The bogs were drained 100 years ago. Pear was also taken from at least one of them. No rhododendron to remove, only pines. The limbs are used to dam the canals which were dug once.
Trond Hoy, gardening on the rainy west coast of Norway.

ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #736 on: December 19, 2019, 01:31:35 PM »
Yesterday was thick mist and cold, down to freezing point. At first there were no sightings of wildlife, except a lone robin, also two fieldfare on a hawthorn bush. I wondered if I would see anything else, although the weather forecast was for the mist clearing later. A colleague had reported finding another site for Harts Tongue Fern, A. scolopendrium, so I went to see it. There were at least twenty plants close to the main track. I have passed this spot hundreds of times and not seen the fern. It shows how easy it is to walk past plants and not see them. The ferns were growing at the edge of a flooded wood, which looks a bit like the Everglades just now. Next, I went to a large pool where last week I saw goosander and pintail. Yesterday there were many mallard and a few teal. Along another track I noticed what looked like a white object in a bush. It turned out to be a small bird, which did not mind me approaching it. I took a photo. of the bird before it flew off. The bird was a chiff chaff. Some of our small song birds are now over-wintering here instead of migrating to warmer areas. In the early afternoon the mist began clearing and I even saw the sun once. I carried on along the track, stopping to photograph the bark at the base of a large aspen. The bark had interesting patterns. While there I noticed a fungus on the ground. It looked like a collared earth-star, Geatrum triplex. A sparrow hawk rose from a small tree along the track and a few minutes later a kestrel flew past me. A goldcrest was among a small party of mixed tits looking for food in willow bushes. The female marsh harrier with the white shoulders was hunting over the large pool, hoping to flush something to chase but the ducks sat tight. I noticed a small holly bush by the track and couldn,t resist a seasonal photo. which I think compliments one of the robin. I heard a great spotted woodpecker giving its contact call, a repeated single note which sounds like a "chick." A wren flew into vegetation as I passed by. They are not easy to photograph here as they keep moving from one bush to another. While I was talking to one of the site staff a greenfinch flew passed us. Once common, they are not seen very often on the site these days. A water rail was making a noise in a wet bushy area, they seem to have quite a range of strange calls. As I was leaving I flushed a snipe from the side of a track. I noticed a roe deer not far away and it did not seem bothered by my presence. I took a photo. which has turned out "misty." It was joined by another deer which I had not seen. I think the days misty weather must have got into the camera.





Harts tongue fern.





Christmas robin.



Chiff chaff.

ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #737 on: December 19, 2019, 01:43:31 PM »


Collared earth-star?



The aspen tree with patterned bark.



Birch with moss and fungi.



Roe deer "in the mist."


Holly

Birds noticed were, robin, pheasant, fieldfare, grey lag geese, crow, redwing, mallard, teal, cormorant, sparrow hawk, kestrel, marsh harrier, blue tit, long tailed tit, great tit, goldfinch, goldcrest, blackbird, pink footed geese, wren, great spotted woodpecker, pigeon, greenfinch, chaffinch, snipe, stonechat, water rail and chiff chaff.

I would like to take the opportunity of wishing everyone all the best for the Christmas season and the year to come, ian.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2019, 02:50:15 PM by Maggi Young »

Hoy

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #738 on: December 22, 2019, 09:31:20 AM »
Ian, your weather is similar to here!

Interesting with all the birds you spot also. It is a lot of different birds here also during winter. More species seem to stay rather than leave nowadays. But cats are a problem. People let their house cats go out and around not bothering about the birds and animals they kill.

Is hart's tongue fern rare there? It is very rare here. It is never growing in the ground only on steep cliffs.
Trond Hoy, gardening on the rainy west coast of Norway.

ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #739 on: December 22, 2019, 11:11:59 AM »
Trond, in this region harts tongue is more common to the West where there is limestone. It is sometimes found growing in the mortar of brick walls. I did not expect to find it on the site as it is mainly peat, although the site contains different habitats. It is not a surprise to find wildlife on the site which usually occur in other areas.

ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #740 on: December 23, 2019, 08:13:11 PM »
Tomorrows weather forecast is for rain so I decided to visit today. I met two local naturalists on the site and we decided to look at a small alder wood, out of the cold wind. There were several fungi which looked interesting, one a Blewit. A kestrel was seen hovering and a marsh harrier was also hunting. In the wood we flushed eight woodcock, singly, which flew quite close to us but I was not quick enough with the camera to get a photo. We saw an Alder leaf beetle which we did photograph. Also found was a white fungi which may be related to Witches Butter. I found several small brown fungi on a bare elderberry stem (see photo 5.). We came away earlier than usual due to the light fading sooner and the expected traffic rush at this time of year.



Blewit.





Alder leaf beetle.




Birds seen were, kestrel, pheasant, meadow pipit, stonechat, marsh harrier, teal, pigeon, blackbird, woodcock, fieldfare, redwing, barn owl, crow, grey lag geese, mallard, lapwing and stock dove.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2020, 09:59:07 PM by Maggi Young »

ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #741 on: January 03, 2020, 08:23:32 PM »
Yesterday was dull and cold and quite windy. I met a colleague and the site manager on site. We went to look at some grass snake eggs my colleague had found on a previous visit. It seems they had been dug up by something, a fox perhaps. My colleague then showed me some tiny "fungi" he had found a few days ago, growing on an elderberry bush. They are about the size of a pin head. The orange one has been tentatively identified as Octospora wrightii and the grey one as Badhamia panicea. He is waiting for confirmation of his ID. We also found another colony of the "Badhamia" on another elderberry a few yards away. I had trouble trying to get my camera to focus on Macro as it kept shifting the focus point to the nearest piece of moss instead of the fungi. I took a photo. of the "Badhamia" a few feet away with my gloves in the picture to give an idea of the size of the colony. My colleague spends quite a lot of time inspecting branches for interesting wildlife. He thinks these fungi are new records for the site and are un-common in the country. After spending quite some time taking the photos. of fungi we walked along four paths and ending back at our starting point. On the way we passed a large piece of open water and saw many mallards out in the open. Also there were a few teal, goosander, tufted duck and pintail. We also saw a female/juvenile golden-eye. We saw the golden-eye dive several times and also "sky-pointing." We saw a couple of buzzards, also marsh harriers and a sparrow hawk. Later we made our way to the large reed bed where starlings roost for the night. We did not see many starlings but my colleague heard a cettis warbler and several bearded tits calling. My hearing is not so good and I have difficulty hearing high pitched bird calls. While watching for starlings we saw a flock of lapwings circling around, perhaps looking for a roosting spot. The flock divided suddenly and we saw a peregrine plummet towards the ground, perhaps with a bird. Although cold and windy we thought it was a good start to the year.



Grass snake eggs.



Badhamia panicea? above and right of the right hand glove (a light coloured patch).



A close up of Badhamia.



Possible Octospora wrightii.

Birds seen were, magpie, crow, pigeon, buzzard, marsh harrier, sparrow hawk, long tailed tit, bullfinch, chaffinch, robin, mallard, teal, goosander, tufted duck, golden-eye, grey lag geese, pink foot geese, jackdaw, rooks, cettis warbler, water rail, great spotted woodpecker, blackbird, bearded tit, lapwing, pintail and peregrine.

Robert

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #742 on: January 08, 2020, 05:22:42 AM »
Ian,

Thank you for your first report for this season. I will be following along and will be very curious how the season progresses.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
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ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #743 on: January 15, 2020, 09:19:42 PM »
This week the weather has been mixed. Yesterday the forecast was for rain in late afternoon but by mid-day it started with light rain then came more persistent. I went to look at a small wood which contains alder trees of different ages. The wood contains much ground water in the lower parts. I flushed a woodcock while walking along a track. I noticed a tree which had an orange growth on the trunk. I showed a picture of the organism to  a colleague and he thinks it is a Trentepohlia, an algal growth. Among the tops of the alders a mixed flock of birds were feeding. I noted blue tits, chaffinch, goldfinch, brambling and redpoll. A few white lichens? of various shapes were growing on the trees. I also saw a brown mat of something on a fallen tree, which I thought might be a moss which had changed colour due to the weather but a Bryologist friend said is not a moss. Further investigation is needed. Today was bright but with a very cold wind. Birds were not showing much but I did see two male and one female goosander on a pool. I met another naturalist and we went to see how the site of marsh pea was progressing. Scrub clearance here took place to remove over-shadowing trees. The last few months of rain had caused surface water to stand on the area. We will check the site again in a few months. We decided to see if any early emerging adders were out as it was fairly mild in sheltered areas. None were seen. We had good views of a hunting kestrel though.


« Last Edit: January 16, 2020, 02:32:04 PM by Maggi Young »

ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #744 on: January 15, 2020, 09:22:53 PM »




Trentepohlia sp?







« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 09:25:54 PM by ian mcdonald »

ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #745 on: January 15, 2020, 09:29:19 PM »




Another Trentepohlia









An early bee.

« Last Edit: January 22, 2020, 08:31:05 PM by ian mcdonald »

ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #746 on: January 15, 2020, 09:32:11 PM »

Site of marsh pea





« Last Edit: January 16, 2020, 02:31:01 PM by Maggi Young »

ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #747 on: January 15, 2020, 09:52:29 PM »
Birds were, pheasant, stonechat, woodcock, marsh harrier, mallard, teal, blue tit, chaffinch, goldfinch, brambling, redpoll, grey lag geese, pigeon, blackbird, reed bunting, great tit, long tailed tit, crow, goosander, buzzard, kestrel, pink foot geese, starling and fieldfare.

Robert

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #748 on: January 16, 2020, 05:38:23 AM »
Ian,

As I can see from your posting, even in the winter there are many fascinating things to observe.

Thank you for the posting.  8)
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
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ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #749 on: January 16, 2020, 04:10:04 PM »
The brown/orange "lichen" on post 745 has been identified by the British Lichen Society as Trentepohlia, an algae. More study is needed to see if the one on the tree and the posting on 745 are the same species. I also have one in the garden. Trentepohlia is new to me.

 

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