Chicken of the Woods

I’ll begin today with what will probably be my final mention of the canada geese this summer. It requires a close look to tell which individuals are this year’s young now as they’ve grown so much.



I found earlier in the week that geese, presumably from all over the area, are now gathering in huge numbers inside one of the meanders of the Avon.


This afternoon I headed to my regular haunt of Blashford Lakes Nature Reserve. I spent a fair bit of my time in the woodland hide. It’s not the best time of year to see birds there- they’ve all had their young and aren’t so desperate for food now- but you are guaranteed to see lots of birds anyway.

Juvenile Blue Tit 

I saw one bird which was a little more unusual, though I am not certain on the identification. After some analysis I think this bird is a chiffchaff (although it may be a willow warbler- they look very similar and are usually identified by their songs).


It’s always a surprise to see how many mammals can be seen from this hide. As usual there was a grey squirrel enjoying the dropped bird seed.


There were also 3 or 4 bank voles running around the bottom of the feeders.


Like the woodland birds, the freshwater bird season has largely come to an end but the usual suspects were around.

Grey Heron
Mute Swan

At Blashford I finally managed to get a clear photo of a butterfly I’ve seen a few time over the last week, the speckled wood.


I’ve also seen quite a few holly blues around the area this week too.


There were a few large fungi growing in the Blashford Woods like this Dryad’s Saddle. The name comes from the idea that dryads, tree nymphs from Greek mythology, could sit on the fungus.


I also found this striking chicken of the woods. This one gets it’s name as it is edible and supposedly tastes like chicken! It’s a great name which I couldn’t resist using as today’s title.


That’s all for today but there will be a special post on Friday so stay tuned for that.

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