A car makes a pretty good bird hide at times:
I was back at RSPB Burton Mere on Tuesday afternoon. The weather was abysmal, but that didn’t matter, because I FINALLY saw my jinx bird!
Ladies and gentlemen, after 48 years on this planet, I saw my first water rail:
On the whole, I took some pretty good photos—especially of the little egret.
I met my friend Carolyn for lunch at her home on the Wirral on Tuesday. The weather had been dreadful all morning, but the sun suddenly came out, so we decided to take her very reluctant dog for a walk.
It’s all starting to feel a bit back-endish, as they say in these parts.
A restless night. A tawny owl ke-wicking somewhere in the garden in the small hours. A stifled-sneeze-induced splitting headache mid-morning. Time for a walk down Burlees Lane to clear my head.
It’s at this point that my natural history journal loses its U-certificate rating. Look what I found in the woods:
The aptly named stinkhorn (with the equally apt Linnean classification Phallus impudicus): a fungus which, when it spores, emits a smell similar to rotting flesh. The smell attracts flies (as shown), which then fly away, bearing fungal spores to new locations.
My hero, Charles Darwin, was fascinated by plant dispersal mechanisms. I’m sure the stinkhorn fungus’s spore-dispersal trick would have delighted him.
(And yes, it stinks to high-heaven!)