My ramblings, my photos, photography, image editing, etc.

Ben Rhydding Gravel Pits Early May 2023

On this visit to Ben Rhydding Gravel Pits I loaded myself up with my camera gear and binoculars while wearing my light coat. The sky looked OK but I didn’t allow for the wind. I should have put the heavier coat on. It was a chilling wind coming from the North East. I was not able to spend long looking over the river.

One of the first things I spotted after getting onto the reserve was orange on several rose plants. Each had only one orange patch and at first glance I thought it was just where the buds were going to grow but I looked closer on one of them and noticed that it was powdery looking orange covering a leaf joint. A photo allowed me to ID it as Rose Rust Fungus (Phragmidium mucronatum). I did try reading a bit about it. I could understand the words like “consists of” and “characterised by” and that “all species had…” and they were “lacking in…” but I had no idea what the other words meant so I wasn’t any wiser as to what it had or hadn’t got. The photo seemed a good match though, so hopefully I am somewhere near in ID.

The Rose Rust Fungus was one of the first things after getting onto the reserve but when I got to the far end I looked over the cut where piped water flows down to the river and saw a fallen tree that had the largest fruiting fungus I have ever seen. I have yet to ID it. I would say that parts of it were more than 12 inches (30 cm) across. Massive. Could it be Dryad’s Saddle – Cerioporus squamosus?

It was nice to see a pair of Swans on the lagoon. Their symmetry makes a nice photo I think.

I could hear Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Robins and managed to get photos of them, including a newly fledged Robin that still had a downy head, but the next bird I spotted was a Little Egret. Unfortunately it spotted me first and was already flying over towards the sheep field. But I had better luck on my return.

One area of the reserve was quite noisy with several Treecreepers and after watching and listening for I while I realised that several young Treecreepers were being fed by adults. The young tended to be hidden from my view by leaves but I did manage to get a shot of one of the adults.

When heading back I was lucky to spot the white of a Little Egret before it spotted me and carefully and slowly walked along the path until I could get a photo of it standing behind a Grey Heron.







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