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WHITLINGHAM: More ducks, more fungi

24th November 2012

With rain forecast later I headed down to Whitlingham in the morning. There was still a lot of fog around, so I wasn't confident of seeing much, but it cleared as the day went on. There are a few benefits of fog, namely that although you can't see very far, neither can the birds. As I walked along the little broad I looked into the alders across the other side of a ditch, and saw a Kingfisher looking back. It soon flew off, but I was very chuffed to get what may be my closest views of my favourite bird. Further along I found a couple of Lesser Redpolls, and was surprised to see a Black-headed Gull with an almost brown hood still.

Leaving the broad I went up into the woods to look for fungi, including a couple of specimens that Neil M had told me about. One of these, Red-banded Bracket (Fomitopsis pinicola) being particularly rare. Whilst wandering around I found a mixed flock of Tits and Goldcrests, which I checked through looking for Firecrests, without success.

Fomitopsis pinicola

Ascocoryne sarcoides

Back at the broad I went round to the conservation area, where there had been an increase in duck numbers since my last visit. Around 30 Teal were now milling around, whilst Tufted Duck and Gadwall were both more numerous. Three Little Grebes and a drake Pochard completed the winter wildfowl. A Marsh Tit called from some alders, and a Wren hopped around in a pile of cut trees. No new birds, but a very satisfying visit nonetheless.

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