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7th, 12th & 13th February 2017

Tuesday 7th February 2017:
The dull, overcast weather continued and today I decided to start my visit by undertaking a walk on the Cook's Garden Centre side of the common.  It was reasonably unproductive but for the two more fungi that I added to the year list:  Birch Polypore and Exidia plana. 

Birch Polypore (Piptoporus betulinus)

Exidia plana

From the Common I then decided to head over to Hillditch Coppice.  Again things were quiet although I did find an interestingly named plant called Hart's-tongue fern.  So called as it's leaves supposedly looks like a deer's tongue (A hart is an old fashioned name for a deer).

Hart's-tongue fern (Asplenium scolopendrium)

Sunday 12th February 2017:
Decided to undertake a walk around Hillditch this afternoon as the common just gets too busy on a weekend.  It was the right choice as it was lovely and quiet and during my walk around I heard my first drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker of the year.  A sound that always lifts the spirits.   On the way back I decided to sit on the bench next to the first section of pool and just chill out listening to bird song.  Fortune was obviously smiling on me as a Kingfisher flew in and perched in the trees opposite for a minute or so before flying off towards Titton brook.  Result another bird year tick for the list.

Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) - distant record shots

Monday 13th February 2017:
Finally, after what seems like an eternity of dull, grey weather it was a day of blue skies and sunshine and what a difference it made.  For my visit I decided to walk a circuit from the lower terrace, up the terrace bank onto the upper terrace and back.  At the car park opposite Cook's I was greeted by 3 House Sparrows (1♂, 2♀) that were flitting about in the nearby bushes.

Something that struck me during the walk was the number of Honey Bees that were active busily feeding on the Gorse flowers.  There were 3 or 4 on near enough every flowering Gorse that was catching the sun.  Also noted visiting the Gorse flowers was a single Meliscaeva auricollis hoverfly.  Finally the inverts are starting to emerge, just need a few more days of sunshine now!

Meliscaeva auricollis


  1. Worth keepin an eye on the Hart's tongue for a couple of leafminers, Jase