Thursday, 21 August 2008

Fungi Foray

I know it's said that farmers always moan about the weather, too dry, too wet, too cold, too hot etc., but this year, as they try and get the harvest in, they really do have a legitimate moan. It looks as if August will be the wettest for 100 years and unless we get two or three good drying days up to four million tonnes of wheat will be fit for animal feed only, and that means the price of bread will go up even more.

While I was looking at some of the fields towards East Langdon I stopped to look at this young Rook. After all these years of birding I have only just noticed how brown the head and neck of the young birds is. I might be that I caught this bird in perfect light to see it, but it really stood out.

This field has been cropped and unusually for nowadays the straw is in squared bales and not cylindrical ones wrapped in plastic. Many of the other fields are still uncut or partially cut, lets hope the forecast is right and we will have a few days of settled weather.

Back in St Margaret's I had a wander round the paddock next to the monument. What I really wanted to find was a Wasp Spider, but I didn't have any luck. I don't know if it's the wet and windy conditions but I'm yet to find one this year. What I did find was this rather fine fungus. It goes under the name Panaeolus semiovatus or more commonly Dung Roundhead, which, as you can see in the picture, is an appropriate name.

Even the butterflies were hiding form the wind. The only ones I saw were those that I kicked up as I walked through the grass, and even these quickly dive into cover, like the Gate Keeper above
and this Common Blue.

There were a few grasshoppers around but again they were not as active as on a hot sunny day. I think that this is a Field Grasshopper, but it's not a group I'm very knowledgeable about.

1 comment:

John Young said...

Hi Tony, nice post on the bird fair. I was up there on Friday helping out on one of the stands. Thoroughly enjoyed the day and purchased a few bargains on the day myself. Spot on with the grasshopper id, IMOH.