Saturday, 17 December 2011


An alien being? Something from the Jetsons?
I spent a wonderful morning tramping over one of my old patches - Holmethorpe Sand Pits. Apart from a wintery shower it remained clement. The birding wasn't too bad, with a good collection of wildfowl (including a Goldeneye), Water Rail, plus good feeding flocks of Stock Doves and finches on the farmland. But, highlight was without doubt the four Earthstars that local birder Graham James had alerted me to. These strange fungi are a family that I had been wanting to see these past few months and I was not disappointed. A stranger thing you'd be hard pushed to find. Geiger-esque. I reckon that they are Barometer Earthstars (Astraeus hygrometricus) and my photos match those on Roger Phillip's website pretty closely.

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