Saturday, 3 May 2008

Fungi, Mushroom or Toadstool?

It is always special to see and hear Swallows when they arrive back and settle down to breed. Although not a renowned songster I love to hear the squeaky, twittering song, a real sound of summer. Although newly arrived from its long journey from southern Africa this bird already has worn tail streamers. Female have shorter streamers than males, but this one does look very glossy blue and I would have thought it was a male. Males with the longest streamers have the greatest success in the mating game, a case of size really does matter.

I'm no expert on fungi, so when Pauline Gould invited me to see some interesting looking fungi in the garden of South Sands House I was not too sure that I'd be able to held identify them. I didn't really have to worry because with the aid of a couple of guides Pauline found the matching picture before I did. This intriguing looking mushroom is a Common Morel, Morchella esculenta, and my book says that it is good to add to soups and sauces. Although I'm confident.well almost, that we got it right, I don't think I'd add it to anything I eat, just in case.

This is a fresh one just coming up, it looks different to the mature specimens but I think is will turn out to be the same.

An evening puddle watch added a new species to those I watched here yesterday this very dapper and neat Chaffinch was just a energetic in getting his bath time done as the others.
After several minutes of splashing about he was distinctly dishevelled. This almost ritual bathing is extremely important for the birds to maintain their feathers. After washing they preen, putting their feathers back in order, and while they do this they obtain an oil, form their preen gland, and apply it with their beaks, making their plumage water proof.

Other Birds Although I had three separate spells of sea-watching, none of them was very long and in the end my lack of patience was my undoing. Having waited for three-quarters of an hour after nine Pomarine Skuas had been reported passing Samphire Hoe, with no success, I gave up, only to receive a text from Jack when I got home to say 19 Poms had passed by. Those with dedication get the rewards!

Puzzle Today I've had about 100 extra hits on my blog, all from the United States or Canada, and all looking at a post I did last year about Skylarks and poems (Hail to thee etc...). I wonder if people were googling to solve a crossword puzzle and that's how they arrived here? If you know, please tell me, I'm intrigued.

1 comment:

Carol said...

Hi Tony,
Great photo's again...
re The morels, they are considered a great delicacy in the USA, similar to truffles in France.
Athough I have never tried them, our friends in Michigan rave about them! Also heaps of recipes to google if you change your mind!

Cheers Carol