MORNING WALK INTO YEO VALLEY – AFTERNOON VISIT TO SUTTON BINGHAM RESERVOIR
WEATHER: another dull and overcast day with light rain. Brighter in the pm. Quite humid, temp 18C
I left it late for my morning walk so that the light had time to improve it was pretty dismal out there at 7am so I waited until 9!! My walk lasted about 90 minutes and I have very little to report.
It was just like an autumn morning, misty with some drizzling rain, leaves were streaming down from the willow trees and they are turning colour on most other trees. I watched a Great Spotted Woodpecker calling from a dead tree and a Green Woodpecker was licking up ants on an ant hill on the side of the grassy slope of Rook’s Hill.
The european anteater - Green Woodpecker
I saw very little else until I got to the river Yeo on the east side of the hill. The usual Goldfinch flock sat in the large dead tree and two juvenile Green Woodpeckers sat on fence-posts on the far side of the river. They are fully independent now, flying down to the grass and finding their own supply of ants. I heard a Chiffchaff calling, a Robin singing and a Blackcap ‘tacking’ but sightings were very few.
two juvenile anteaters having a rest
I walked up and over the top of Rook’s Hill, the only thing to mention whilst I was at the top was the sighting of a large growth of fungus on the side of an oak tree, it was truly an amazing colour. with the help of my mate Jack and the wonders of modern telecoms technology we found out that it is an edible fungus and has the names "Chicken of the Woods" or "Sulphur Shelf Fungus" (Laetiporus sulphureus).
the orange fungus called Chicken in the Woods
or Sulphur Shelf Fungus
One other sighting I made during the walk along the top of Rook's Hill was that of a Mute Swan, it flew at eye-level to me along the ridge before swerving off towards the lake at Barwick House.
if you look carefully you can see a Mute Swan in this picture
Around 4pm Dawn and I drove to Sutton Bingham for some fresh air, we walked the length of the southern arm of the reservoir, it was quite busy their with family parties walking along the shoreline. I scanned the southern end where a lot of muddy shoreline is now exposed because the water level is getting quite low.
waders at Sutton Bingham - three Black-tailed Godwits and two Green Sandpipers (one in Flight)
A few waders were visible, notably: Black-tailed Godwit (3), Green Sandpiper (4), Common Sandpiper (4), there was also a collection of 5 Grey Herons, 4 Little Egrets, 10 Great Cormorants and lots of Great Crested Grebes and Mallards.
Little Egret at the in-flow
two Little Egrets and a Grey Heron
I also scanned from the main causeway on the return journey but did not find anything new, all the usual gulls were present, Herring, Lesser BB, Great BB and Black-headed.