Westleton/Eastbridge walk, 29 December 2022

A much needed long walk as we ease back to some semblence of normality. This one started in Westleton and took in Westleton Common, Eastbridge and the Minsmere hinterlands before returning to the starting point. 

Birdwise it didn't have much to write home about with a Great White Egret seen from Vault Hill plus Bullfinch and 6 Greenfinch en-route. Fungi were a different matter though with plenty still to see despite the lateness of the date. So far I have identified Velvet Shank, Exidia plana, Pine Jelly, Moss Bell, Crimped Gill, Yellow Brain, Peniophora quercina, Coral Spot, Candlesnuff, Birch Woodwart, Sycamore Tar Spot, Cushion Bracket, Witches' Butter, Common Bonnet, Cylindrobasidium laeve, Hairy Curtain Crust, Turkeytail, Black Bulgar, Smokey Bracket, Wet Rot and Crystal Brain

                                                                                                                           Cushion Bracket


Long-eared Owl at Cley Spy, 30 December 2022

Probably my last bit of birding of the year was a leisurely drive up to Cley Spy at Glandford.

Yesterday one of their customers found a Long-eared Owl roosting in the hedge surrounding their garden and against all the odds it was still there today. It was a little more distant and slightly more obscured than hoped but still some excellent views from their, thankfully covered, decking at the rear of the shop. Later, at New Mills in Norwich while shopping a Grey Wagtail flew over.


Winter mothing - Mottled Umber, 24 December 2022

I was out and about in the fine city today doing last minute Christmas shiz. Popping into Jus's on the way home as he'd trapped a couple of Mottled Umber moths overnight.

The 2 individuals were at the opposite end of the spectrum of what is a very variable species. Last night was mild at home too with 3 Winter Moths on our kitchen windows. 


A Spectacular Hoar Frost in Pulham

In the recent cold snap we woke up one morning to a rather spectacular hoar frost. The ice patterns were something else so I had to venture out with my camera to capture the moment before it thawed!

All these pictures were taken just a few yards from the house and posting them now seems fitting for the Christmas season. 

Now we have had the winter solstice we can look forward to the nights getting gradually lighter. December has been a trying month for the Lansdells so we are particularly looking forward to 2023.



Norwich Cathedral Herb Garden

Back in the warmer days of September while nearby I had the pleasure of visiting the Norwich Cathedral Herb Garden. It is the garden of a fine georgian house nestled below the towering cathedral spire in between the Upper and Lower Closes. 

It is a lovely oasis of calm and tranquility in the bustling city and a has a fine collection of herbs. Some are famliar but others less so and all are nicely labelled with a variety of attractive labels. There is also an interpretive notice board explaining the old english uses for the plants. The fine Medlar tree is a particular personal favourite.

I would thoroughly recommend a visit if your in the area next summer watching the famous cathedral Peregrines or just as somewhere to sit with a coffee.



Ginkgo! 11 December 2022

A frosty slip and slide around Waterloo Park on Sunday afternoon was livened up with this rather lovely Ginkgo tree that had shed its gorgeously yellow and strange-shaped leaves. Also known at Maidenhair Tree, it is an endangered species in its native China but was certainly looking a home in Norwich.

Bridgham Fungus Foray, 10 December 2022

The latest foray with the Norfolk Fungus Study Group was to Stonehouse Farm at Bridgham on the edge of the Brecks. The farmer there farms 150 acres for sheep and has a mixture of habitats on the farm which we were keen to explore. As part of the Breckland Farmers Wildlife Network he was very keen to find out what fungi he has and joined us for the first couple of hours. 

Despite the freezing and foggy conditions we had a good turnout and bearing in mind the several days of frost we have had and the lateness of the date the 143 species of fungi found during the day was beyond anyone's wildest dreams. 

The pick of the fungi and photos are shown below and hopefully I have labelled them right! Into the bargain we also recorded a great variety of attractive slime moulds and a Winter Moth. Birds included Siskin, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker and Common Buzzard in the frigid conditions.

As ever a huge thanks to the organisers and recorders on the day and those who took home specimens for analysis. Also for the kind hospitality of our hosts for the day.

                                                                                                                      Slime moulds - various
                                                                                                                          Raspberry Slime Mould
                                                                                    Gall of Yellow Flat-footed Fly on Artists Bracket
                                                                                                                               Bicoloured Bracket
                                                                                                                         Bleeding Broadleaf Crust
                                                                                                                                Bleeding Oak Crust
                                                                                                                                  Bowl Hoodie
                                                                                                                                  Brown Cup
                                                                                                                     Common Stump Brittlestem
                                                                                                                                       Crimped Gill
                                                                                                                               Deer Shield
                                                                                                                                     Dewdrop Bonnet
                                                                                                                              Earpick Fungus
                                                                                                                             Hazel Porecrust
                                                                                                                            Laquered Bracket
                                                                                                                               Mycena smithiana
                                                                                                                           Pale Yellow Splash Tooth
                                                                                                                                  Sprucecone Cap
                                                                                                                                   Sulphur Disco
                                                                                                                           Tuberous Polypore