Thursday, 5 May 2011

Who Burnt the Buns?

A few weeks ago when I was clearing a fallen ash tree on the route of the new seasonal path I retrieved a few fungi from the tree trunk. They were hard black lumps known as cramp-balls or King Alfred's cakes. The first is a reference to a supposed use in the curing of cramp and the latter to their similarity to badly burnt buns. Anyway I brought a few back to put in the classroom and now they are producing spores, they are emerging from the hard black surface looking like iron filings around a magnet.
In closer view the iron filing like appearance is more obvious.

Ten volunteers worked on the reserve this morning, mainly putting down new wire on the ramp to the Ivy North hide, it was a bit noisy, but the mute swan did not leave her nest and the coot continued to feed their chicks. The great crested grebe at the Ivy South hide still have two chicks, a poor picture of them is below, I must try for one in the afternoon when the light is better.

Generally the day was quiet for birds, a hobby and a bar-tailed godwit were about the only sightings of note. It was very good for dragonflies though with downy emerald, broad-bodied chaser and four-spotted chaser all seen as well as a range of damselflies. I still have not seen either scarce chaser or hairy dragonfly though, both of which should be flying now.

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