mist fog and sunshine Tuesday 29th September 2015

Hi Its been a while since i wrote here but I've decided to try and keep a more consistent record and maybe others will add to it and we can get a little community of pooled sightings and observations going. So this morning was again beset with fog, mist and low cloud which didnt really lift until around 2pm However there was still plenty to see despite the eerie stillness that this weather brings. Jewelled spider's webs were draped everywhere. Lots of lapwings, mallard, gadwall,and tufted duck at Big Hole plus the resident coots moorhens and swan family. Walking on top of the new trail round the old slurry ponds i was lucky enough to see four green woodpeckers oddly enough one on each side of the old stack. The resident male kestrel was being given a really hard time by a pair of mobbing carrion crows-later on i counted a group of 15 crows -thoroughly blowing the rule i was taught that only rooks were social and crows stayed in family groups. There were some great views of jays as they flew back and forth with acorns in their bills-no doubt taking them for caching ready for winter. We seem to be saturated with little egrets at the moment I counted 5 down towards NewFlash and another 2 were hunting the river bank today. I'd be interested to know if they bred locally this year. Up on the old slurry ponds four coot were indulging in what i can only describe as a "face off" bill to bill on the water before mutually backing down and swimming away only to face each other again a few minutes later. Lots of little grebes up the top today too and a few great crested as well. Once the sun came out so did the dragon flies-mostly red darters i believe. All along the path are numerous examples of a brown gilled fungi and a similar white one -which so far remain unidentified. The same fungus is also in abundance along the riverside path. And the lovely yellow trefoil is still in bloom up on the tops too. I believe i found a badger print in the soft mud at the side of the path running parallel to the river. Elderberries,brambles, rosehips, hawthorn and even an eating apple were all evidence of autumn's increasing hold on the reserve. Then just to top off a day when i didn't think I'd seen much in my 3 hours there at the screen was a gorgeous little kingfisher waiting for me as i made my way back to the center first time I've spotted one there in months.