Sunday, November 16, 2008

I taught a group about fungi photography yesterday at Scrag Copse. Despite recently finding a colourful fly-agaric and a lovely shaggy ink cap, big bold fungus specimens were thin on the ground yesterday. I think it is because the late summer and autumn has been fairly wet over a prolongued period, meaning we haven't had that burst of fungi associated with still warm weather and moisture. They have, in effect, come out in dribs and drabs. However, if you think small, there is always fungi to find and photograph on the woodland floor and I'm pleaseed to say that the group really worked well managed to get some fantastic shots. In fact after a couple of hours we had all got our eyes in and adjusted for the task and we were all finding some great subjects.
For me it was an unusual opportunity to wander of my usual path in search of something new and discover fresh or re-discover rarely visited corners of Scrag. Interestingly I found some dead thin trunks of sweet chestnut with what appear to be small woodpecker holes; possibly an old lesser spotted woodpecker nest site!
I think the recent winds have meant that the autumn colour is about a week beyond its peak but there were still field maples with their bright yellow leaves glowing out and many oaks are still cloaked in bronze. Hazels are still surprisingly green and so gaining an advantage from the overshadowing ash and hornbeams having already lost their photosynthesising cells.
From around 3pm a female tawny owl was repeatedly giving its Kivick call although would not come in to my poor male impressions! I have also heard a female around the same time of day near the car parking area so I feel that there are definitely 2 females in this section of the overall woodland block. It is around now and certainly going into December that tawnies establish their territories for next year's breeding season and I plan to do a nocturnal walk in the next month or so to get some idea of numbers.

1 comment:

Mr. T said...

Thanks David for a really enjoyable and worthwhile day, it's been a
long time since I've had a good roll around in mud, and get some shoots of
fungi too :) Can't wait till I get my 100-400mm lens to shoot some
birds also! Cheers, see you soon.