September 2005
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This month we have two pages to our nature report. This one sticks to nature while the second gives an update on the archaeology down at the River Dane.

Most of the photographs this month were taken along the cattle drive.

You should never go hungry in the countryside if you know where to look and at this time of year there's plenty to nibble on.

The first photograph is a good example of this with some delicious blackberry's.

While I was walking through our local town of Northwich, I noticed one of the shops selling blackberry's in a box, with half the amount there are in the photograph for £1.50p.

If you would like a drink then why not try making some elderberry wine.

Again as our picture shows these are plentiful this year and after a little fermentation they're not too bad either Hic!!!

A word or two of advice at this point. Don't go picking and eating every berry / fruit that you see. While many are harmless and quite tasty, there are just as many that can make you very poorly or even prove fatal. Take care what you pick. and always obtain expert advice. IF IN DOUBT - DON'T TOUCH.

Talking of fatalities, I was informed by Phil that it looked as though there had been something that had polluted the river Dane and caused the deaths of hundreds of fish.

By the time that I could get down to take some pictures, (the next day) most had been carried away by the current but as you can see from these photographs there were still a lot of dead fish to be seen.






What the cause was is not known at the time of writing. I will however let you know if I find out.

I don't know what other wildlife has been affected by this incident.

It didn't look as though anything other than the aquatic animals had been affected.

It certainly did not appear to have had visible effect on these young mallards.

Although there are only half the number that there were when I last saw them.

Our next Photograph is very interesting

Suddenly while I was walking by the river a large shadow blotted out the sun.

When I looked up this huge unidentified object was hovering in the sky.

Is this evidence of alien life? Well it is life, but it is not alien and it was above me though not exactly hovering.

Do you remember this "Jeweled" fungi (left) from the July report? (I admit I still don't know what it's called).

Well as you can see from the photo on the right it has grown some and now has a dazzling light shining from it.

Again this is a trick of light. The dazzling light is, as you have probably correctly guessed, the sun.

Still on the subject of fungi, I spotted this "Shaggy Inkcap" growing at the side of the cattle drive.

The shaggy inkcap is an edible fungus, although if collecting this particular fungi for food, it should be collected when young before the cap blackens and dissolves.

(Warning - Before you pick and eat any fungi always obtain the opinion of an expert. I am not so please do not take these pages as a definitive guide. If you are in any way uncertain of your identification LEAVE IT ALONE).

As I looked up from photographing the fungi, I noticed this male pheasant looking rather anxiously out of the grass.

Was he concerned about me or my friend the buzzard, who was circling above our heads.

The buzzard is now quite a common sight around these parts, although it is surprising how many people fail to spot them.

Some of our older readers may remember back to the days of the "Cold War". It was a common occurrence for Soviet reconnaissance aircraft to approach the UK to test its air defences.

The RAF would respond by sending up fighters to intercept the aircraft and if need be escort it away from UK airspace.

In this photograph two rooks "escort" a Buzzard out of their airspace. although I think in this case "harass" would be a better term to use.

The alarm calls of these and other birds provide good clues that preadators such as the buzzard are around. So use you ears as well as your eyes.

On a smaller scale here are two other predators to be found at Greenheyes. This time down by the river.

This dragonfly belongs to a family known as Skimmers, although although they are also sometimes called "darters" or "chasers".

I am not 100% sure but I think this particular one is known as a Broad Bodied Chaser.

One clue to its identity is the presence the brown wing bases, easily visable in this photograph.

Our second dragonfly belongs to to a family known as Hawkers.

This example is known as the Migrant Hawker.

Its clear wings are difficult to see in the photograph on the left so I have zoomed in closer with the photograph on the right.

This shows some of the intricate structure of the wing.

Finally for this month, we have this male robin. It was so busy singing, (which is what attracted my attention), that it failed to notice me peering through the edge at it.

I hope that you have found this side of the nature report to be of interest.

If you click here you can read an update on the archaelogy down by the river Dane

Until next month
Bye for now.


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