Saturday, November 21, 2009

Marston Vale Country Park - Wetlands

This morning I finally got out after being all but stuck inside for several weeks….oh, how I needed it...and enjoyed it!

I spent a few hours walking around the wetlands at MVCP. There were lots of finches about: Bullfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch & Greenfinch, and Redwings were everywhere, stripping the Hawthorns of their berries and constantly calling to one another.

At the Wetland Hide, I was really encouraged when I heard, and then saw, a Cetti’s Warbler flitting through the Reeds on the island. The waterfowl are building up on The Pillinge. I couldn’t find a Scaup amongst the rafts of Tufted Duck, but there was a solitary female Red Crested Pochard on the west side.

I was looking around for Otter spraint and, after a muddy scramble, I was really pleased to find some on the square stone at the end of this culvert on the right-hand side.

It was not fresh, but the smell was still obvious…sweet & fishy!! It looks like this piece of stone may have been placed here specifically for this purpose.

I came across this feather underneath a Tawny Owl nesting box. I’ve seen the like before and I should know what it is….but I just can’t get my brain to stump up the answer….any ideas?
Update: Steve Blain, our Bird Recorder, is fairly confident that this is one of the wing coverts from a female Pheasant.

I’m fairly sure that this is the Brown Rollrim (Paxillus involutus), the cap margin being inrolled. It’s not one to take home and include with your salad because it has been known to kill people when eaten over a period of time!

And this is the local millinery store for the little folk who come out at night and dance around the wetlands when we’re all tucked up in bed….Fairy Inkcaps (Coprinus disseminatus)!!

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