The weather recently has not been encouraging me to take long walks. So here one again is a set of pictures of the gang of sparrows which is dominating the garden bird feeders.
Pair of grey knight mushrooms looking even greyer than usual because there was a layer of dirt covering them.
Seen earlier this month, shortly after the snow which had been lying for several days had just melted. The thaw had deposited the dirt accumulated on the surface of the snow on the mushrooms which the snow had covered.
I first noticed one patch of scarlet elf cups growing on a pile of dead twigs at the back of the former Tettenhall Station an Newbridge about ten years ago.
Since then, they seem to have been gradually extending their presence along the environs of the Railway Walk, getting ever nearer to Mecanno Bridge, adding touches of bright colour to the mid-winter undergrowth. This one, in another new spot, had already been found by some hungry creature.
The canal between Alderley and Wightwick used to be a regular winter refuge for little grebes (dabchicks). In recent years, the numbers have been falling. This winter, I haven’t made it down there very often, but I haven’t seen a single one alog that stretch.
Finally, as I was taking a walk along the towpath further downstream, heading from the Bratch to Awbridge, a sighting at last. A lone dabchick, repeatedly diving, repeatedly surfacing with a small fish then eating it.
I’ve been on the look out for earth stars all winter, previously without any success.
Finally, tried a spot in the undergrowth by the footpath along the Penk at Perton. Most years, there’s a handful of collared earth stars (by far the most common species) there. This year, I stopped counting when I got to twenty.