Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Lavington Plantation

With not a cloud in the sky I made my way via the back roads to Lavington. Overnight frosts had turned the roads, which are still suffering from all the run off from the recent rains, into a nightmare of ice. As I passed Burton Mill Pond I noticed that it is not frozen so not yet ideal for a Bittern watch.  Lavington was a picture, white on the ground but the weak sunshine had thawed up the bracken - rust red on white. The first thing I noticed was the highly mobile and vociferous flocks of Goldcrests busily working in the gorse. Unusually, having reached my favoured spot, I didn't set up the camera and in accordance with the Law of Sod, three Crossbills turned up immediately. Luckily I had rigged up the 400mm lens just in case anything turned up whilst walking through the plantation, so I managed a couple of records.

Juvenile Crossbill
There are still a few Holly berries left, the Fieldfares and Redwings having more or less cleaned up. I guess what remains may end up as Christmas decorations for some forager. I also found a Birch tree with a large amount of Hoof or Tinder Bracket fungus, Fomes fomentarius, this is the source of amadou, much prized by the 'Ray Mears' members of the community as tinder in firemaking, if they read this then I guess it won't be there much longer.
Definitely aptly named

Of course not missing one of Lavington's residents, calling away in the south west corner and staying just long enough to be snapped.

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