Sunday 30 October 2022

Orange Pore ("ping pong bat") fungi. Cornwall 28.10.2022


This is Orange Pore fungus, commonly called "Ping-pong bat" fungus due to its distinctive shape.

The scientific name was Favolaschia calocera but it's now been deemed to be Favolaschia claudopus.

Only known in Britain since 2012 ut was thought to have originated in Madagascar but it now seems that may have just been a "stopping off" place as it was known in New Zealand before that.

It has now colonised many woods in the South of Cornwall with these being found at Tregrehan near St.Austell. Special thanks to Iain Stewart for finding them and letting me photograph them.

Thursday 27 October 2022

Fungi in the Mid-Cornwall woods 27th October 2022


Fly Agaric

After a morning of thick mist and rain I headed out to my local woods in search of a few fungi to photograph.

It was certainly worth it as there were lots to choose from. Admittedly several specimens had "gone over" or been attacked by slugs but if one took some time to search there were some good ones to be found.

Fly agaric are one of the favourite fungi for photographers and I wasn't disappointed as there were a few crackers hidden in the dark and very damp woods.

Fly Agaric

Fly Agaric

Fly Agaric

Fly Agaric 

There were many others in the couple of hours I spent and I've not been able to identify them all yet so if you want to add any ID's please comment below....... or if I've got any wrong then please add your views.

Birch Polypore

Birch Polypore

Birch Polypore

Boletus spp.

Boletus spp.

Hairy Stereum

Boletus spp?

Honey fungus?

Honey fungus?

Mycena spp.

Honey fungus?

Friday 30 September 2022

Juvenile Hobby at Walmsley sanctuary, Wadebridge. Sept 10th -19th 2022


My only views of a Hobby in the UK have been at about 100 feet in the air or a fleeting fly-past as it seeks dragonflies....but always distant and rarely worth reproducing as a photo.

This young bird wrote a new chapter in my bird photography log and I guess in that of many Cornish birders who came to watch it.

Taking advantage of our newly installed  "predator perch" it spent at lease 10 days on its migration stopover to feed up on our dragonflies. Migrant Hawker was its preferred quarry and at times it was catching them every few minutes.

After it had left (presumably) I searched under its main perches and collected a few dragonfly wings just out of interest.

Who knows where this bird fledged from but it could have been just a few miles up the road as there are a few pairs breeding in this part of the county.

Lets hope that it's marked our reserve in its brain and returns each summer to feed up before it makes its way to Africa. We've been well entertained and always want more!

Here are a selection of my photos......

Tuesday 20 September 2022

Osprey in Cornwall. 20th September 2022.


After making a third early morning visit to this pool on a tributary of the River Fal it was "3rd time lucky" as this juvenile osprey paid a visit and had 3 unsuccessful dives for fish. 

At neap tide I don't think there were many large Grey Mullet available for it to feed on. The sluice lets water in from the river on a good tide but I tend to wonder if the Osprey has eliminated all of the larger fish available.

However it was exciting to watch this iconic bird as it hunted from the high trees on the pool perimeter.

Several friends and indeed new acquaintances waited silently on the footpath with baited breath and fingers poised on camera shutter buttons.

Each time it twitched there was the sound of shutters being fired and I hold my hand up to having one of the loudest! One of the advantages of the move toward mirrorless cameras is the benefit of silent shutters!

Here are a few images from today.... I came away exhilarated to have watched this bird at close quarters but a wee bit despondent that I didn't get the amount of good images that I expected.

Obviously more practice needed!

Tuesday 13 September 2022

Osprey in the rain. Cornwall 13th September 2022.


It's got to be a good sign that Ospreys are doing well in Britain & indeed farther to the North and East as Cornwall seems to be getting a regular stop-off for more and more of these iconic birds every year.

Today was one of the worst days for weather this summer, dull and wet but humid. 

After a fabulous summer it doesn't seem right to moan about a bit of rain but when it stops you enjoying such a beautiful bird than who can blame me for feeling hard done by!

That aside I do think the rain gives the photos a bit of atmosphere! 

We were lucky enough to watch 4 dives from this individual of which 3 produced successful fish catches. Only small fish but that was good for me as it then came back to feed much quicker than if it had caught a large fish.

The osprey was regularly mobbed by corvids, crows and jackdaws, and they drove him away from the lake on a few occasions.

Hopefully he will stay around for a few more days so I can get down there again in a bit better weather.

Here are a few images from this morning....

Mobbed by corvids