Abbey Meadows

Abbey Meadows

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Serra de Tramuntana


Holm Oak


Puig Major, the highest peak at over 4700 feet

Lluc monastery

A day in the mountains on a visit to North East Majorca. The above pics are a bit scenic shots of the area but the mountain range takes up a third of the whole of the island and for me a 'must see' area. Lluc monastery is an ideal base in the heart of the mountains with wonderful walks in all directions. Very rich in flora around here but many plants are photographed and stored for future identification but the birds around here were quality. My main aim was Black Vulture and above the monastery there were 7 Vultures soaring, 4 were Black, 2 Griffon and a lovely adult Egyptian which later left the group and headed South east. Around Lluc the terraced farmland held small flocks of Spotless Starling, Serin and Cirl Bunting. Firecrests were calling from the pines and Stonechats were very common. Further on at Cuber reservoir there were another two Black Vultures and two Booted Eagles in the air and at Soller another 2 Black Vultures and a single Booted Eagle. We stayed at Alcudia for the week and I will post some more stuff in a couple of days.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011


Birds eye view of the former Widdrington tip looking East towards Druridge Bay, now pretty much Alder excellent habitat

Pink Footed Geese

A garden escape, flower and seed at the old brickworks

Another garden escape

Mouse ear Hawkweed

Seed head of Blue Fleabane

Some kind of Slug among the pine needles

Yesterday I had a good romp around the old tip at Widdrington. A lovely sunny morning but very Autumnal with lines of Pink Footed Geese flying over, 2 Snipe, 40-50 Redpoll and Siskin and 8 Crossbills. Also 7 Jays at the tip. Had a good look around the old brickworks to look for some late plants. Most of the plants in flower were daisy like plants such as Ragwort, Rough and Autumn Hawkbit and some late flowering Fool's Parsley and Yarrow. I found a couple of obvious garden escapes but I'm not too good at identifying some garden plants so I don't know what they are. I found more Blue Fleabane growing in other areas of the brickworks but most have now gone to seed. There were a couple of Red Admirals and Speckled woods flying around in the sunshine. On the way home I had a look at the new ponds at East Stobswood, there were 5 Barnacle Geese among the Canadas and Grey lags, Redshank, Lapwing, Tufted duck and Gadwall. Click on pics for better detail.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Snowy Waxcap

Snowy Waxcap

Oak Bracket

Hygrocybe family are probably the most attractive and colourful of our fungi. They are found in old pastures and grassland but are sensitive to chemicals and in the 1960's some species became quite scarce. Modern housing estates often have grassy corners and recreational areas which are regularly mown and these are ideal places to look for this tiny group of fungi. There are many species which are common around the area where I live and despite them being very colourful the plain looking Snowy Waxcap (Hygrocybe virginea) is my favourite. The above pic was taken on my lawn.
A new fungi species for me was Inonatus dryadeus, Oak Bracket growing at the base of an ancient Oak in Athey's dene in the Borough woods.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Short eared at the tip

Seed head of Zig Zag Clover

Musk Mallow brightening up a dull day

Seed of Black Medick

Poor shots of the Owl flying away from me

I was at work during the heatwave so today on my first day off it dawned to a warm, wet morning. The weather didn't improve as the day went on so I had a wander around the old tip at Widdrington. The plants are almost finishing flowering now and it was quiet generally until Bennyboy flushed a Short eared Owl off the ground. It flew to the North West part of the former tip and landed in the grass. It was raining and the pics are poor of the bird flying away (good enough excuse). There were three Kestrels hovering over the area so there must be good feeding here. There was also a flock of 16 Redpolls. Plenty of photo opportunities with berries and dozens of plants with interesting seed cases. Last night there were 5 Tawny Owls calling from different parts of the Abbey woods.