Friday, 9 October 2015

Ring Ouzels

Following Dorian and Bernie's post on SOS we knew it was time to make another of our annual pilgrimages - this time to the "Yewsual Place".  The large Yew tree on the north west side of Cissbury Ring, thank you to all those who cared enough to give up their time so that his tree could be saved from the actions of a mad "gardener".  This year, this fine example of Taxus baccata is covered in bright red fruits - very poisonous to humans but a delight for Ring Ouzels, Mistle Thrushes and Song Thrushes. When we arrived I flushed a female Ring Ouzel down the hill but she paused just long enough for a positive ID, later a large male left the tree and disappeared into the scrub further round the hill, its distinctive flight giving the ID. We were then joined by Josh,  who generously shared his scope with us, thanks Josh. Carrying camera, lenses and bins is a sufficient load for me, when travelling uphill the scope has to stay behind.

With things being a tad quiet we made our way to the rifle butts and it wasn't long before we were in business, at least two birds - maybe more, their "chacks" giving them away, Sadly they were quite flighty but at least they perched long enough for some decent record shots.

A final visit to the Yew Tree gave no more sightings. On the way over I stumbled across a magnificent specimen of the Parasol Mushroom, Macrolepiota procera, a basidiomycete fungus with a large, prominent fruiting body resembling a parasol. It is a fairly common species  on Cissbury Ring but this year only one specimen found.  Whilst photographing the mushroom I realised that the shot gave no idea of scale so I placed my Swiss Army Knife on top and I can tell you that it is about 9cm in length.


1 comment:

  1. wow, great images Dave, just love that Parasol, never tire of seeing good Parasol images lol

    oh and your Ouzels are pretty spectacular too ;-)