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.

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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.

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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.

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Chaffinch
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Juvenile Blue Tit 
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Dunnock

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).

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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.

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

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

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Coot
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Grey Heron
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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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