Friday, 20 November 2015

Autumn Colours

You do not have to walk far, especially this year, to enjoy the browns, oranges and yellows of Autumn.

A golden Sycamore leaf that has come to rest on the ground.

Looking down at the river I noticed a Grey Wagtail peering back at me through the tree branches, as it was perched on a tree stump on the edge of the water.  The Grey Wagtail can be identified by its bright yellow underside, grey back and yellowish/green rump.  It is resident in the UK all year.

Autumn would not be Autumn without the inquisitive, friendly, orange chested Robin.  This common garden bird is resident all year in the UK.

One of our regular walk paths is littered with autumn leaves.

Wherever you go you will generally find a white feather.

I am not sure what small tree these small berries are on?

I was being watched by a Grey Squirrel high up in the trees.  It did stop for a brief moment to allow me to get a shot.

Some more of the autumn leaves, this time from the Plane tree.

Rigidoporus ulmarius - Bracket Fungus, they are common and widespread in the UK and can be found growing low down on deciduous trees.  They are not edible.

I am not sure what type of mushroom/fungus this is, it seemed quite unusual as it had a stalk with a flat top and bottom area?

These were growing next to it, so maybe it was just a distorted one?

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Top Common, Beeston Regis, Norfolk

After my 'Twitcher' experience we carried on walking around Top Common and I came across several new sightings.

These are Indian Balsam flowers, they are native to the Himalayas, it is recorded that it was first sown in the UK around 1837.  Over the years it has spread to grow in the wild.

A single Bracket Fungi or also known as Shelf Fungi, growing on a fallen tree branch.  They can grow on either live or dead wood.

The fluffy seed-heads of the Goldenrod.  When the Goldenrod is in flower it is a bright yellow colour and belongs to the Aster family.  They are native to North America, with some species being introduced to Europe and the UK.

A sea of blue of the Sea Aster belonging to the Daisy family.  It can be found along the coasts of most of Europe.

Golden, bronzed, autumn colours sprinkled with bright red berries.

The Holly Bush, one of the classic images of Christmas.  The Holly Bush can be found World Wide.

This very small and difficult flower to photograph because of its size, is a Tormentil.  It belongs to the Rose family and is an effective medicinal herb.

Another of the very small flowers, which you had to be careful not to tread on as you walked through the grass, was the white flowers of the Grass Of Parnassus.  It can be found in most of Europe including the UK.

The ground around the Top Common is very boggy and you will see lots of Slugs in the grass.  This one looks like a Spanish Slug, due to its large size and red/brown colour.  They are a non native species to the UK, but have become widely established.

Acorns on the Oak Tree.  We had been living away from the UK for 10 years, but returned this year. I don't know if it is my extra interest in nature or the fact that the Oak Trees are having a revival, but I am noticing far more Oak Trees, all be it, that most of them are quite young looking trees.

We recently watched a program on 'A Year In The Life Of An Oak Tree' and one of the things I learnt about was the Gall Wasp which lays its eggs in the buds which then alters the acorn, these are called Knopper Galls.  We noticed this happening on this particular tree.

The red berries of the Rowan Tree or Mountain Ash a tree native to the UK.

A small mushroom hiding in the grass under one of the trees.

Can you spot the apples?  There has been a bumper crop of apples around this year, and here in the Top Common, the Crab Apple Trees have certainly kept up the trend.

I am not sure what type of mushroom/fungus this is, in fact when I first saw it I wasn't even sure it was.

A Sweet Chestnut that has burst open from its shell and dropped from the tree.

I think these lovely golden yellow flowers gently bobbing in the wind are Golden Rod, they are part of the Daisy family but can grow up to a metre in height.

This thistle looks like a Spear Thistle which is native to the UK.

Friday, 30 October 2015

My Brief Twitcher Experience

A few weeks ago while we were at Beeston Regis, on the Norfolk Coast, the Twitcher community were very excited about a small bird appearing on Top Common.  We came across them by accident on our walk, at the time there were only a few people standing watching a group of trees, suddenly they started clicking away at a small bird in the tree, so I took a few shots too.  After they stopped clicking I asked one of the men near me what was the bird?  He told me it was a Daurian Shrike, a rare visitor to the UK, so for the rest of the walk I went around saying to my self 'Birds of a Feather and Shrek, to programs that helped me remember the name of the bird.

Apparently these small birds breed in North China and over winter in Pakistan, North West India and Iran.

Over the next few days the lay-by where you park to visit Top Common was bursting at the seams with parked cars, all day come rain or shine, this small bird certainly caused a stir.  I admire the Twitchers, however I would not be able to stand there for hours and hours watching one bird, but I am glad I played a small part.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Friendly Robin

The other afternoon when we were standing on Iron Bridge over the River Snail in Fordham, Cambridgeshire, watching the ducks, a Robin decided it wanted to be the centre of attention.

In this first shot you can see the edge of my husbands trousers in the corner of the shot.

While we were watching the Robin a family arrived to feed the ducks, it was quite sad that although the Robin flew in front of the family a couple of times, not once did they show any interest in the little Robin.  It still amazes me how some people are so oblivious to the little wonders around them.