Friday, 16 January 2015

Red Kites and lovely lichen

I took a quick wander around the field behind our house to take a look at the stream and saw four red kites sat in trees. We see them flying around every day and have one that sits in the tree in a neighbours garden most days, but it's quite unusual to see so many sat in trees in such a short space of time (about half an hour).

The first one I saw was Whistlejacket, he's not called that because he's a horse, it's because he sits in the neighbours tree and whistles, a lot! He's there almost every day (I can hear him even if I don't see him, in fact I can hear him right now) and he sounds like he's lost something and is calling for it. It's such a sad sounding call. I believe he's actually staking his claim on the territory and is calling every time another kite flies near his tree. I have to say it's not the most threatening call I've ever heard. More pitiful than challenging.


He flew off when he spotted my camera
On the opposite side of the street and about three houses down, there was a second kite, also sat in a tree in somebody's garden. To put how close they are to people into perspective, this shows the top of the garage, the kite is in the top left corner of the tree and I was stood on the pavement in front of the house.

Then when I got to the field, there were two more, but they were a bit further away this time.
Usually when we go to the stream in summer it's very overgrown and you can only get to the water in a few places, so it was nice to go at this time of year and have a good look. There are lots of old, twisted branches and several trees that have fallen over, which all give it a 'wild' feel. The water was quite high and I even found a tiny waterfall.

There was a lot of lichen growing on the trees. I really like lichen, particularly the colours and shapes, I just don't know much about it. It looked like the branches had been painted with gold and silver paint. Very pretty!

I think this is called Golden Shield lichen

Not sure of the name, but I'll call it Silver Leafy lichen
 (if in doubt, make up the name!)

Mustn't forget the moss, which was growing in abundance. That's something else that I like, but don't know much about (but I have a plan to find out about moss - more on that another day though).

The Yellow Flag irises are starting to grow. They put on such a lovely show in the summer.

I think I found the Whomping Willow from Harry Potter, but luckily it didn't attack me when I got close!
Finally, a view of Whiteleaf Cross from the field. Whistlejackets tree is the big one in the middle of the picture and our house is there somewhere.


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