As I write this, it is another glorious day, but where is the rain? The garden needs it, and we thought the fungi would need it. We were mistaken. It was National Fungus Day last Saturday and the Hunts Fungi Group came down to Paxton Pits. We had over 30 people join in. With all these pairs of eyes on the lookout, over 50 species of fungi were found. The reserve has over 400 species, so there are plenty more to see throughout the year. The experts have taken many of them away to study and identify definitively. However, it looks as if there might be at least a couple of new ones for the reserve’s list.
One of them is an Amanita. The species include edible and as well as the most poisonous in the world, which is present on the reserve, the Death Cap- Amanita phalloides. Another one, Amanita strobiliformis- Warted Amanita, was found here for the first-time last year. On Saturday, looking amongst the trees, where they usually are found, there was a group of Amanita, being enjoyed by slugs. The thought is that they are the Solitary Amanita- Amanita echinocephala, which would be another new one for the reserve, if it can be verified by further inspection.
Another possible new species is a Rhodocybe Gemina-Tan Pink Hill. Saffron and Lurid Boletes were also found. Don’t they have such wonderful names!
While we wondered around, there were lots of common darters and some migrant hawkers and willow emeralds enjoying the weather. When will our last sighting of dragonflies be this year? Now that I will be interested in.
The WeBS walk picked up some interesting sightings earlier in the month. A little egret on the Sailing Lake for the first time, good kingfisher sightings and over 200 wigeon on the Heronries. Osprey and hobby have also been seen regularly over the last month passing through. One of our volunteers watched a sparrowhawk attacking a green woodpecker. Neither won and they went their separate ways. Not so the small mammal that was in a weasel’s mouth, which the same volunteer also saw near the Kingfisher Hide.
A sighting, I am not so pleased about are ringed neck parakeets. We had 3 over our front garden the other day. Although their breeding range is expanding it is interesting that they do migrate locally for the winter. So maybe they are only here for a short while.
Another volunteer called in at the Kingfisher Hide a couple of days ago and watched at least 50 teal fly in and join the wigeon and gadwall.
Another interesting sighting on the Foray on Saturday was a Vestal Moth -Rhodometra sacraria. This is a migrant that in some years comes over here in good numbers. Another new species for Paxton Pits.
And finally, a sighting I had in the garden today, a hummingbird hawk moth enjoying the nectar of one of my “Hot lips” salvias. It shows it has been warm today! It has been a joy this year watching the bees on my salvias, particularly a small purple one.
As usual if you have anything to report about the wildlife at Paxton Pits, please let me know on firstname.lastname@example.org