After a fortnight away from my patch, on holiday in Cornwall, it was a ‘no-brainer’ to head down there at the first opportunity once I got back. The warm, dull morning of Monday 10th September proved to be that day.
The female Smew was out in the centre of Sandiway Big Pool, viewable from just about every vantage point going, but always distant. Remember to only view from areas not in use by fishermen when visiting. Other ‘winter’ wildfowl in residence included 3(1 drake) Gadwall and a female Teal on Big Pool and on Small Pool 3(2 drake) Wigeon. A large number of Tufted Ducks was again present and the big Canada Goose flock contained a lone Greylag Goose. An adult Common Gull on Big Pool was also a sign of autumn/winter. In contrast summer visitors were represented by a single Swallow over Big Pool and a Chiffchaff on the meadows.
My second visit was later in the week, on Friday 14th, in rainy weather, when I actually got drenched! Again the female Smew was seen but was elusive along the western shore. Other wildfowl were as my earlier visit. Highlights included a few species seen less often on my visits here. These included a Grey Wagtail feeding on mud on Gull Pool, this private pool being viewed from the Whitegate Way bench. A Pied Wagtail also flew over. A small passage of Meadow Pipits totalled 10 in groups of 8, 1 and 1. A Kestrel was seen over Abbot’s Moss too, with a Stock Dove over Shemmy Moss. Also on the mosslands an unusual sight of a lone Mistle Thrush in a flock with 9 Starlings. Two Rooks were in fields by Sandy Lane with Crows. A few more hirundines were pushed lower by the weather, namely 10 House Martins and 8 Swallows.
Lots of interesting fungi were seen as well as one of my faves that isn’t a fungi but a slime mould, Sulphur Slime Mould (pictured), also attractively called Dog Vomit Slime Mould!!
Dogs Vomit Slime Mould!