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Monday, 27 January 2014

November 2013

Starting where I left off in October – when I left the meeting last month, we found lots and lots of common frogs on the high ground both sides of Coombe Valley – the wet misty weather must have brought them out.

Starlings have returned with a vengeance – I have seen up to 4,000 over my garden.   We also have a regular visitor, a female Yellowhammer working along our lawns.  The Great Spotted Woodpecker has returned after an couple of month’s absence and I saw my first Lapwings of the season at Upper Tamar Lake on Tuesday last.  In early November we were on Lundy and saw individual swallows on two days and had a “fall” of a flock of 100 Wood Pigeons on the 10th

We have regular nocturnal visits from a hedgehog captured on the Trail Camera recently purchased by our group.  Our Bank Vole is still seen scuttling from wall to wall but I have been unable to catch it on camera.  On Lundy we saw Sika deer, interestingly in both summer – pale buff and spotted coats and winter – dark grey coats.  On our last day we have to return by boat due to fog and were allowed onto the Landing Beach which had been closed due to seals pupping there.  We saw two pups learning to entertain visitors and Mum and Dad swimming very close together – they mate soon after the female leaves her pups and carries for almost a year when she will pup in September/October next year.  Every day we saw a Pygmy Shrew in our property, Government House – they are the size of a £1 coin.

Crimson Waxcap - Hygrocybe punicea Lundy
On Lundy we saw on our first day, a Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly and Silver Y Moth and on two days, Red Admirals – these will be seen all winter on warm days.  I have been observing a wasp nest near home and they were still flying right up to Sunday when the Queen emerged and re-entered the nest

As usual, Red Campions are to be seen, they are usually seen each month of the year.  A few Herb Robert are hanging on too.  On Sunday I saw flowering Scurvy Grass

And finally, the Ivy in my garden is beginning to produce the black fruits that are vital to the survival of many of our birds through the winter.  On Lundy there are many fungi showing – in particular the Waxcaps

[Transcript of a report first presented to Cornwall Wildlife Trust Tamar Group on 18th November 2013]

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