Fine morning and a fair bit of overhead traffic. Over/on the south brooks at 08.00 small numbers of swallows, yellow wagtails, siskins, skylarks, pied wagtails and single grey wagtail. Also noted a hobby, a spotted flycatcher (perhaps my last of both this summer?), and a stonechat (my first on the brooks here this autumn). At least 7 ruff and 3 black-tailed godwits on north brooks.
I've been dancing with the pixies amidst the fairy rings!
Right now, there are so many mushrooms and toadstools emerging around the woodland and heathland trail... you could find fenugreek milkcaps that smell enticingly of curry, brightly coloured russula, the classic toadstool from fairy tales (the fly agaric) and much much more. Some of my particular favourites are the amethyst deceiver - a beautiful purple creation,
the false death cap whose Latin name Amanita citrina describes its slightly luminous yellow colour
and Boletus luridiformis - a great spongy mushroom with a red stem that bruises blue-black when damaged.
Slightly less pleasant are the stinkhorns which you can smell before you see - these start off as jelly-filled balls known as witches' eggs!
Whilst foraging for fungi I also spotted a grass snake and several lizards.
I've created a 'fungi trail' which takes you around the outer loop of the heathland trail where you'll find a huge variety of shapes, sizes, colours and textures. If you pop into the visitor centre you can pick up one of our 'fungi top trumps' spotting sheets to help you identify the mushrooms and discover which are the slimiest, smelliest and most toxic. Once you've done your spotting you can take the sheet home and make your own set of top trumps cards and challenge you families and friends to a game!
Juvenile little stint from Jupp's view this lunchtime, along with 5 dunlin, 4 black-tailed godwits and 8 or 9 ruff. Other waders today reported include curlew sandpiper, green sandpiper and common sandpiper. Plenty of teal and increasing numbers of wigeon present on the north brooks. Still a few migrants around the trail - spotted flycatcher, lesser white throat and chiffchaff.