Gulls and crusts

With renewed enthusiasm for sitting in the cold, this weekend saw me spending lots of time overlooking D reservoir at Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire scanning through the assembled Larids.

Predictably, there was no sign of the Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans on Saturday, and numbers were well down on the previous evening with only 3,700 gulls roosting. However, a new 1st winter Mediterranean Gull L. melanocephalus appeared briefly, but may have flown out southwest prior to dark, while 11 Goosander Mergus merganser flew northwest, this being one of the highest totals I’ve seen at the site.

Sunday was a little slow for gulls. However, approximately 7000 birds were in the roost at dusk, including c800 Herring Gulls L. argentatus, c500 Great Black-backed Gulls L. marinus. The best bird was a Yellow-legged Gull L. michahellis while a sub-adult Lesser Black-backed Gull L. fuscus graellsi also put in an appearance. Three Pintail Anas acuta, including 2 stunning males were the highlight on the wildfowl front.

The variety of fungi was noticeably down on recent weeks. However, as Doug Fairweather had noted we had chance to add a new species that was glaringly absent from the list, we set out to find it on Saturday. Simple task, find some pine wood, hopefully find a crust on it, make gentle scores with a knife and hope it bled!

Several minutes into the search, Bleeding Conifer Crust Stereum sanguinolentum was duly added to the Tophill list.

Bleeding Conifer Crust Stereum sanguinolentum Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire Dec 12

Bleeding Conifer Crust Stereum sanguinolentum Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire Dec 12

Bleeding Conifer Crust Stereum sanguinolentum before and after scoring

A month ago I posted a picture of Laxitextum bicolour and it looked a rather dull crust.

Laxitextum bicolor Tophill Low NR, East Yorks, Nov 12

A month later we returned for further pictures to find it looking more impressive.

Laxitextum bicolour Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire Dec 2012

Laxitextum bicolour Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire Dec 2012

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