Tuesday 29th November 2011 - Shenstone

Today I decided to concentrate on the patch's accessible bodies of water.   There are areas on the patch that are private and un-viewable such as Stanklyn Pool...who knows what gets on there!

I started at Captains pool on the northern edge of the patch.  Here I noted 22 Black-headed Gulls and the usual Mallards & Moorhens.  Whilst scanning the wooded edges of the pool I just caught a glimpse of a small bird diving.  A few seconds later it popped back up, it was a Little Grebe.  Result!  this is only the second record of Little Grebe on Captains in 2011.

I then headed over to the south side of the patch to check out Willow Marsh Fishery.  I usually view the birds dropping in at the fishery from Witch Lane but I have recently discovered that there is a public footpath that runs through it accessible from Curslow Lane.  The fishery is only open weekends this time of year, so there is always a chance of something interesting.  There was little of excitement here today however but I still recorded 5 Cormorants, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Common Buzzard and 3 Redwing.  There was also a nice Shaggy Ink Cap fungi along the footpath.

My final stop was on Witch Lane where I walked the 'fungi footpath'.  I know, it's another of my daft names but this semi-wooded footpath is where the highest concentration and variety of fungi are found on the patch.  Birdwise I only noted 11 Fieldfare and a single Jay.  I did however record another new species of fungi for the patch, Common Rustgill.  Also of interest was a small burrow I found with loads of part eaten fruit outside the entrance.  It looked like the flesh had been discarded but the seeds eaten, leading me to believe it belongs to a Wood Mouse as opposed to a Bank Vole.  I've attached a photo if anyone agrees or disagrees please say.

Common Rustgill (Gymnopilus penetrans)

Shaggy Ink Cap (Coprinus comatus)

Wood Mouse Burrow (and signs of activity)


  1. Judging by the amount of Apples by the entrance hole, that must be some big Wood Mouse ;-)

  2. Ha! Actually, they are some kind of small crab apple Dean...only about an inch across

  3. I'd love a Little Grebe here Jase, not had one this year, they are less than annual on my patch!

  4. The mushies and the Wood Mouse are beautiful, all and all, it was a blog.

  5. Warren...Tell me about it. This year has been a good year for Little Grebe...prior to this year my last sighting at Captains was in 2008.

    It was indeed Bob!