Scarlet Elfcup fungi

The fungi are bright and beaufiful.

There is a small area of willow carr beside the River Ock south of Tesco, a really damp area which hosts quite a few fungi species - I have identified 19 species there so far.

Yesterday I found a rather beautiful group of Scarlet Elfcups (Sarcoscypha austriaca) or could possibly be Ruby Elfcups (S. coccinea) which are almost indistinguishable.

from David Guyoncourt: 15 February 2018

The Fragrant Bracket fungus.

The Fragrant Bracket is a large white fungus

I recently found a rare pure white bracket fungus: 'The Fragrant Bracket' (Trametes suaveolens) on a fallen willow near Abingdon.  It is listed as  Vunerable B on the British Mycological Society Red List.  It smells of  aniseed!

from David Guyoncourt: November 2017

Sparrowhawk stuck in bush.

The bird struggled to free itself from the bush.

At dusk a sparrowhawk attacked the 100-plus sparrow and starling roost in a Pyrancatha bush and got its leg stuck in the thick thorns tryng to catch a bird. It took a quarter-of-hour to extricate itself.  All the birds had fled!

from Graham Bateman: 06 September 2017

Fat Robins?

In my garden, I have watched Robin's over last six years successfully transition from being mainly ground feeders to being adept at hanging on to fat ball feeders and frequently seen feeding on these each day and also now taking fine bird seed from feeders to a lesser extent. Worms and other soil invertebrates are of course still exploited when I disturb soil and once the juveniles are around, vegetation is actively gleaned for more live prey.  But fat now appears a dominant part of the diet and is continuously relied upon through the darker months of the year. The product is very noticeably gaining weight on the shelves of bird food retailers in recent years and I know I am buying far more each passing year.
So; is this, year round, abundant and very high calorific value food source now enabling Robins to breed much earlier these days ?
Discuss !

see previous news item...

from Ian Smith: 05 April 2017

The Early Bird

Returned from holiday to find first fledgling juvenile Robin of the year in my Marcham garden on 2nd April and flying quite strongly. This time they nested some distance away in a neighbouring garden and  from previous years' observations, when they have nested in my garden, I would be happy suggesting this bird had been out of its nest for a day or so before this. I say this because, first garden appearances of juvenile Robins each year is as a fluffy whirring, short distance, projectile crashing into their chosen/(accidental?) landing area. A much stronger, longer and decent level of flight accuracy is only gained in subsequent couple of days.
The British Trust for Ornithology website indicates fledging dates starting from 18th April !

from Ian Smith: 05 April 20177

Heron with Frog

22 March 2017: Heron with Frog.

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Tree Creeper

12 February 2017: A Tree Creeper climbing a chimney.

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Little Egret

1 December 2016: Little Egret by R. Stert

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Jack Snipe at Cholsey

11 October 2016: A Jack Snipe at Cholsey.

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Wasp Spider at Marcham

13 August 2016: A wasp Spider in the Wild Celery field at Marcham.

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Black and Yellow Longhorn

3 July 2016: This beetle looks quite spectacular.

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Small Emerald

3 July 2016: Small Emerald moth on Alpine Clematis

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Robin Murder

21 April 2016: Robin Murder

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20 April 2016: Early Swifts at Cholsey

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09 April 2016: A Redstart in Abingdon

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Early Bluebells

23 March 2016: Early Bluebells

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11 March 2016: early garden frospawn

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Little Egrets

24 December 2015: Little Egrets

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Reed Buntings and Linnets at Barton Fields

04 March 2016: Reed Buntings and Linnets at barton Fields

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25 January 2016: Polecats in Oxfordshire

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Cinnamon Bug

3 January 2016: A Cinamon Bug in Abingdon

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Song Thrushes around Barton Felds

23 December 2015: Song Thrushes around Barton Fields

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