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Friday 20th & Sunday 22nd January 2017

Friday 20th January 2107:
As it was a glorious weather day today with clear blue skies and sunshine I decided to walk a circuit the SE Oak woodland up on to the plateau of the upper terrace and back.  It was pretty much devoid of birds other than the ubiquitous Wrens and Robins.  The only real highlights were a single Common Buzzard and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.

On the fungi front I noted some nice new examples of Purple Jellydisc, Witches Butter and Yellow Brain

Purple Jellydisc (Ascocoryne sarcoides)

Yellow Brain (Tremella mesenterica)

I also decided to use this walk to start looking at and recording some of the lichen species found on the common.  Starting with perhaps my favourite lichen the wonderfully named Devil's Matchstick (Cladonia floerkeana).  C. floerkeana is a specialist of heath land and moorland and it's bright red tips are unmistakable.  They always make remind me of Swan Vesta matches.

Devil's Matchsticks (Cladonia floerkeana)

Sunday 22nd January 2107:
Today the weather had returned to it's usual dull, grey, overcast self and I decided to undertake a walk through the Oak woodland in the hope of picking up one or two new species of bird for my site year list but alas it was not to be.  Other than the usual tit flock and a couple of Jays there was very little of note.

I then decided to head over to Hillditch Pool.  Whilst walking along the footpath that runs adjacent to the pool I heard the unmistakeable sound of a Water Rail making it's squealing call from amongst the reed bed. This is most likely a wintering bird but it will be interesting to see if it stays around.  It is the first time I have ever encountered one at this site and made what could have been a dull visit well worthwhile.


  1. A productive couple of days there Jase. I'm off into my local woods tomorrow, see if they turn something up.

  2. Cheers Dean. Keep at it mate. We aren't that far away from Spring now :-)