Not mushroom on their lawn


As suspected, the big storm passed us by completely with barely a feather ruffled, but the accompanying heavy rain did raise river levels sufficiently to allow a good run of salmon.

There has also been a good influx of migratory birds, particularly redwing and fieldfare, with the odd brambling being reported.

Last week, I mentioned the lone waxwing which was visiting a Selkirk garden and since then G.S. from Selkirk got in touch to say that he had a brief visit from a flock of around 20 in the town a couple of weeks ago.

They didn’t hang around long as a pair of crows saw them off.

In between the blustery showers at the weekend, I had a wander up the river to see what was about. When I reached “The Meetings” where Yarrow and Ettrick converge, I stopped to take a picture, as the light was good and the autumn colours were nice.

As I composed the picture on the viewfinder, a splash right in front of me made me put the camera down for a better look.

The pool where the rivers met was chocolate brown and still in spate and I assumed it had been a fish.

To my amazement, a few seconds later a dipper appeared from the swirling water, flew a few yards upstream then splashed back into the torrent. It continued to do this several times before eventually flying off. The river here was five or six feet deep, running very fast with virtually zero visibility.

I presume the bird was feeding on something, but how, I have no idea.

The lack of frost, combined with damp conditions and mild daytime temperatures, have created ideal conditions for some species of fungi.

On a large lawn I know, the most amazing display of wax cap species has appeared. The colours are simply stunning, from the crimson variety to the lovely yellow one pictured here.

If my identification is right (and I’m not confident enough to eat one!) this is probably the meadow wax cap, which is supposed to be edible.

If you look closely at the picture you may spot a tiny spider, which I hadn’t noticed until I looked at it today.

In my garden at the moment, the birds at the feeding stations are scarce. Initially. I thought it was probably all due to the abundance of wild food available just now, but there is another possibility which may be affecting you as well.

The mild damp weather is affecting peanut feeders, causing the nuts to go green and mouldy, and fusing into a hard lump. In this condition they are inedible and, indeed, harmful to birds.

I had to throw most of mine in the bin, so it might be worth having a look at yours.

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