Nature Notes (mini) # 46 / 08.10.15. Birdlog
A late start to my evening walk with a call at Runcorn Hill LNR to count the profusion of Fly Agaric fungi there. I counted 310 fruiting bodies with 100 already gone over. It is obvious that this is a good autumn for this species and I can’t remember ever seeing the place littered with them. It is also good for boletes including, a fine Orange Birch Bolete (pictured). If you are in the area take some time and admire the fungi that are emerging from these excellent local nature reserves. Checkout this site for activities in and around Cheshire: kidsnorthwest.blogspot.co.uk .
As I mentioned due to my fungal foray it was later than expected but, still a sunny evening walk down to the shoreline of the River Weaver and the Weaver Estuary. A small concentration of Tufted Duck were gathered by the wooden jetty where 23 Little and 6 Great Crested Grebe were diving in the mirror like waters.
On the Weaver Bend was a couple of Black-tailed Godwit and 50 Coot. A Stonechat was clinging to a reed stem before dropping out of site by the Shooters’ (dried-out) Pools.
A walk out to Marsh Farm was rewarded with hundreds of Common Shelduck and Curlew out on the mudflats. It’s a great pity that we do not have free access to the area on Frodsham Score because the bird spectacle there is second to none. Time and tide may literally change all of this in the future (I am sure of this). A Sparrowhawk was on the lookout for one of the 300 Starling wheeling about the farm and 50 Meadow Pipit dropped out of the sky as the sun was edging towards the horizon.
I made my way out to No.6 tank for the sundown and watched the build up of Cormorant and Tufted Duck to the open water to roost for the evening. Also present were 10 Mute Swan, 3 Pochard, 300 Common Teal, Pintail, Gadwall and 100 Wigeon.
The day ended with a fiery sunset scorching the skyline.
Observer and images: WSM