Sunday, October 28, 2012

October - 900+ and getting close

I will continue to keep you informed of my efforts to reach the one thousand total though my optimism is waning. I am up to 892 though. On Saturday 6th October we held our monthly Wildlife Explorer/Watch meeting on Cuerden Valley Park, where we concentrated on making bird feeders. I was hoping to make pine cone feeders but there have been so few cones, we changed our plans. There also seems to be a shortage of acorns and horse chestnuts. It may be only here in the North West of England, but I would like to know what others have noticed. We had been making the feeders for about a half hour when we heard the plaintive cry of a buzzard. Gazing skywards we saw two of these wonderful raptors soaring high above the park.

Tuesday 9th October I paid a visit to Brockholes on a lovely sunny day. Several common darters were skimming over most of the water bodies both in tandem and ovipositing, and a pair of buzzards were high over Boilton Wood. Near to the Wood I observed some shaggy inkcaps and candle snuff fungus.

Thursday 10th, I had to visit Chorley to buy a new watch strap and as I was passing St Georges Church the peregrine was easily visible even without binoculars. The picture was taken by Ivan Lynas. I then visited Lancashire Wildlife Trust's Mere Sands Wood and saw lots of species of fungus with more fascinating names. There is Leafy brain, witches butter, fragrant lepiota, plums and custard, and dead man's fingers. These were a boost to my list

  I have also been searching for knopper galls which I usually find when I see acorns. This year I don't think I have seen more than three acorns and only one horse chestnut. Probably too little sun has meant not enough pollenators. This gall is from last year, though I have seen just one this year

The last week in October I helped with river studies on Cuerden with Penwortham Girls High school where we found Minnow, Bullhead, mayfly nymph and even a lesser waterboatman. What was noticable was on Friday with the temperature down by 8 degrees C, much fewer samples were caught. We did see 6 roe deer and 3 buzzards though

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