As I only have my weekends free now, due to my new Monday-Friday job, I hoped and prayed today would stay dry, and I got my wish, so it was off to Cranford Park for a stroll with Sue
and Jasper the bird-dog.
Nice new shiny signs have appeared at both the entrances to Cranford Park.
The mild weather, sunshine and the heavy rain last night meant the ancient woodland was bursting with fruiting fungi. I don't know what any of them are called, but every year I look forward to seeing them. Many years ago I nearly moved to the Isle of Wight to grow mushrooms as my career, it didn't happen in the end, but I think my love of seeing these amazing little organisms has never faltered.
Along with fruiting fungi, there were also a lot of fruiting shrubs and trees.
Bird-wise, Sue and I didn't see too much. We had 4 Goldfinches, c20 Redwing over, c50 Woodpigeons, c30 Jackdaws and Crows feeding in the short grasses, c20 Long-tailed Tits (including the one below), a Little Owl calling from the old Ice Stores copse and distant views of a Buzzard being mobbed by a Crow.
We checked the stretch of the River Crane where I had seen the Kingfishers last week, and got brief glimpses of two flying past us. But what got us both excited was Sues spot of a Little Grebe. Nothing special there I hear you say, but that's a patch tick for both Sue and I. And there were two of them, a male and a female. They were obviously not used to humans as getting close to them was near on impossible. We both got distant record shots (below) and hopefully I can get back to the park next weekend to see if they are still around.
|My out-of-focus record shot of Little Grebe (female).|
|Sues photo of Little Grebe (male). Record shot for our patch tick.|
Meanwhile Jasper the bird-dog was getting thoroughly bored of mine and Sues activity,
so decided to entertain himself.....
So a nice day for photographing mushrooms, getting a patch tick and seeing two distant views of the Kingfishers. The weather forecast for tomorrow is rain, rain and more rain, so unless that changes dramatically over night, there will be no blog from me tomorrow :(