Just a brief message from me this afternoon.
The two grey phalaropes are out on the North Brooks as we speak. They are busy little birds, always on the move so although 'loyal' to the North Brooks since their first appearance on Monday I can't pinpoint an exact spot for you.
Our first redwings of the autumn were seen on the wooded heathland trail - heard flying over during our fungi walk this morning. Also mistle thrush and kestrel.
There is a lot more fungi out on the wooded heathland trail now. Lots of species of mycena, or bonnet fungi, including the very splendid and not terribly common Mycena pseudocorticola (I'm not being flash, it just doesn't have a common name).
I'd suggest a search in the woodland along the back edge of the car park and then a wander down to Black Wood.
If it's raining...do some shopping!
One of most popular offers is now available in the shop - 20% discount on the 12.75 kg bags of bird seed. There are 9 different varieties to choose from but the offer excludes peanuts. Now it is starting to feel more like autumn, it is a great time to get stocked up and tempt the birds into your garden. This offer is available until 4 November 2014
All the rain we've had over the past week has certainly raised the water levels out on the brooks, much to the satisfaction of the ducks who are starting to arrive in significant numbers.
Most numerous are the lovely chestnut-coloured whistling wigeon, but you can also find elegant pintails, mine-sweeping shovelers and zippy little teal. As autumn progresses, more and more of the dabbling ducks will arrive here to enjoy our wetlands.
In amongst the duck you could find black-tailed godwit, greenshank, green sandpiper and if you look very carefully you could spot a few superbly-camouflaged snipe.
A great selection of birds of prey over the last week - marsh harrier, red kite, buzzard, kestrel, sparrowhawk, hobby, peregrine and short-eared owl.
When will the winter thrushes arrive to feast on all the hawthorn berries?
Over the coming weeks there will be trail diversions as we create new sections of wetland nature trail - we'll be re-routing the trail between West Mead and Winpenny hide to higher ground so you should be able to complete the nature trail even when we flood (without getting your feet wet!). We'll also be re-surfacing the path along the zig zags and down towards West Mead to make it smoother and more accessible. Please make sure you speak to our visitor centre team who will advise you on the routes to follow.
Out on the wooded heathland trail, our self-guided fungi trail is out and you could be rummaging around in the undergrowth in search of amethyst deceivers, green elf-cup, skullcap dapperling and leopard earthballs. Again, pop into the visitor centre to pick up your 'toadstool top trumps' spotting sheet and find out where the best stuff is.
Here is a little taster, courtesy of the lovely Dawn and Jim Langiewicz
The tiny fruiting bodies of the green elf cup fungus. The fungus stains the wood it grows on a fabulous green colour.
The amethyst deceiver - my favourite fungi.
Please be aware that the nature trail will be closed until 9:30am tomorrow (2nd October) morning.
Sorry for any disruption and inconvenience!
Andy, Assistant Warden