Last Day of 2014.

More of the same I’m afraid, but I did get to see a Woodcock, and an overwintering Black Cap.

The Frost did appear to do slight damage to the Scarlet Elf Cup, but I had a bit of luck by finding another one. Just to give you an idea how big these are…I would say only slightly bigger than a matchstick. New one bottom photo…IMG_4136 IMG_4137

Lets get the Robin out the way, but how can you resist posting such a lovely posing bird…

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Another Field Vole popped out today….

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Always wondered if birds hurt their feet on Bramble thorns. This beautiful female Chaffinch doesn’t seem bothered…

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Last photo of 2014 is a Marsh Tit, counted 3 today….

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Have a Great New Years Eve!!!

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28.12.14. A Frosty -3ºC Today.

Saw good numbers of Redwing today, also heard the Tawny Owl screeching!

Just a few of the Conditions I encountered on my walk round the Common Today…

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I always think Bramble, although a nuisance, and believe me.. carrying two camera’s round, the main reason I trip up loads of times,,,I still think its an eye catching plant at certain times of the year. Love the blood red stem…

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I would imagine this distant Green Woodpecker was having a hard time digging for food…

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Distant Jackdaws..

IMG_4032 Heather in the frost…

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I think this is about my 4th time I’ve noticed Flowers by the Top Pond, and always by the same tree . I always wonder why?

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The Holly is now in Berry…

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I would guess a Female Pheasant was on the menu for a Buzzard. Found these feathers under the tree I took a photo of a Buzzard scanning the meadow a few weeks ago…

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Two as yet unidentified Lichens…

Update on Bottom photo. Its not actually a Lichen, its a Moss.

its called Common Feather Moss.

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Talking of Unidentified wildlife. I took a better photo of the Jellydisc like fungi from yesterday! This time it was identified much quicker. Its called Beech Jellydisc…

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Also went over to see if the Scarlet Elf Cup was doing ok. I had a shock to see the frost had made it deep into the wood. I do hope it survives this frost attack. Also I wanted to show how dark it is where this Scarlet Elf Cup was growing. I would not stand a chance without my new Ring Flash…

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And finally a few of the usual birds….

Robin getting a few sun rays…

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Marsh Tit, got to see two together today..

IMG_4034 Just made me wonder if this Buzzard had Pheasant for Christmas Dinner…

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27.12.14.

Back over The Common today, trying to walk off some of the Large Meals and Chocolates I’ve eaten.

On arrival noticed some of yesterday’s snow was still on the ground. It was also 0ºC so it felt really cold…

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Found a new Lichen, to add to my list. This one is called Cup Lichen (Cladonia) this is another I will keep an eye on. I want to see it develop the cups it gets its name from….

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I think this is a Fungi. Obviously its unidentified, and I will update..when I find out what it is…

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Talking of Updates on Fungi, I decided to go back and photograph the Scarlet Elf Cup. Not much change yet, but it does seem a deeper colour. Luckily while I was there I noticed two more almost fully grown. Only being about a metre away, it made me wonder how I noticed the small one, and did not notice these first….

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Got a Healthier photo of a Field Vole, last time a Kestrel was taking one out for lunch…

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Distant Jackdaw…

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Couple more of the Marsh Tit…

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Dunnock…

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Coal Tit…

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Buzzard…

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What would a walk be without seeing a Beautiful Robin?

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24.12.14.

Decided to have a couple of hours over The Common today.  With it being Christmas Eve I decided to put plenty food down, as a treat for the birds.

This female Chaffinch seemed very tame, I swear she was looking me up and down. Also noted her beak moving from side to side…

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Robin…

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A good number of Fieldfare today. I would estimate around 30 – 40…

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Usually when I find a miniature Fungi, it takes a while to identify. I would guess this will be the case in this particular specimen. I will update, when I either find it, or someone on iSpot gives me ID….

UPDATE:- This fungi is called Scarlet Elf Cup…

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Fungi, Lichens and Mould Highlights.

This was another tricky subject for me, but I soon added a small mirror to my kit to aid in identification. The times I was asked for either the stem or gill shots of the underneath. Learnt the mirror trick off Chris Packham, so not to disturb the Fungi. Mind you using a mirror was very time consuming, with loads of over-exposed shots. So lets start posting….

Three Mould Species…

Top – Slime Mould

Middle – Toothpaste Mould

Bottom – Scrambled Egg Mould…

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Tawny Grisette…

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I’ll keep this to its politically correct name of Wood Ear…

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Black Foot Polypore, I think this may gets its name from the appearance of black soil it stands in…

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Found Witches Butter everywhere on Highgate Common this Autumn/Winter…

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Two Puffball species now…

Top – Common Puffball

Bottom – Dusky Puffball…

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This was by far the biggest species of fungus, I’ve ever seen. Its called Giant Polypore, good name I think. Tried to give scale by my hand…

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Black Bulgar, I took this photo on 28th of September, I noticed Saturday just gone (20.12.14) it was still looking really healthy….

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Candle Snuff Fungus…

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This for me, was the highlight of this topic. Loved its beauty and almost Coral appearance. This is Reindeer Lichen, it gets its name from the fact Reindeers love it. Apt for the time of year…

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King Alfred’s Cake, very useful if dry for Tinder and Fire Lighting..

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Yellow/Apricot Club…

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Shaggy Ink-cap, this gets its name from the fact as it gets older, it drips Ink Like droplets from its cap. Didn’t get any drip photos, but I did get a photo of the ageing process…

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Stinkhorn, the smell/stink attracts the flies…

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I will always remember this fungi, Its name is The Deceiver… It certainly deceived me, as I was taking it, a Common Frog crawled over my hand, and scared me half to death…

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Now for two very attractive Gill photos…

Top – Crepidotus, attached to a Bramble stem.

Bottom – Bitter Oysterling…

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Thats the end of this years highlights. But I’ve enjoyed every second that I spent on Highgate Common in 2014….Already looking forward to 2015

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from highgatecommonwildlife.com

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21.12.14

Not much about today.

Highlight of the day was photographing this Marsh Tit, slightly rarer than the other Tit species….

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Now this was hard to photograph, at first I thought it was Jellydisc fungi, but on closer examination its not Jellydisc. Firstly it was half the size, and secondly it has stems. But I did manage to identify this fungi. Its called Arcyria denudata, a very small Slime Mould species.

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This old tree trunk with these old Bracket Fungi looked quite odd…

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Two more 7 Spot Ladybirds sheltering from the winter conditions..

IMG_3888 Great Tit and Coal Tit…

IMG_3880IMG_3879 Not 100% on this identification, but I think it could be a Gypsy Cuckoo Bee. Still waiting for confirmation on this…

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