It was lovely to see so many folk at Rodley today, a bit like old times.Ten of us gathered for an introductory talk from Graham (we were later joined by John) who took the opportunity to inform us of the planned closure of the reserve for at least two months in January and February 2022 for work to be done on upgrading the swing bridge across the canal.The reserve is now a familiar haunt for us all.We usually focus on a different aspect of the reserve on our visit and on this occasion our focus was on fungi. We were given access to the coppice woodland for our fungi foray.This is an area of predominatly willow ( previously used for biomass and laterly managed by Bees conservation volunteers) with alder, birch , oak and beech also a thick understorey of bramble and ferns. We needed an expert for the identification of fungi species and had our own in John.Several species were identified by John and his enthusiastic and patient followers both in the coppice woodland and meadows. Woodland species included Blushing Bracket,Turkeytail, Oyster Mushroom, Shaggy Scalycap,Wood Blewit, Brittlestem and Sheathed Woodtuft. The afternoon foray into the Mike Fisk meadow provided Snowy Waxcap, Meadow Waxcap and Drab Bonnet. Below the Butterfly Bank the group encountered Clustered Domecap.
Our party took the opportunity to relax and enjoy the vibrant autumn colours in the trees on a mild and sunny November day. (Sue produced a photo of a snowcovered scene in Bradford taken on the same day five years ago). Bird sightings were sparse in comparison with other visits. The dancing linnets provided an attractive sight, greylag geese flew overhead and settled in an adjacent field and buzzards were heard and seen in the sky. In the Lagoon a heron was seen devouring a vole also teal, little grebe and mallard were enjoying the warm conditions.We seemed to find our clothing covered in ladybirds prior to their hibernation. Some unexpected sightings were a Common Darter dragonfly by the ponds and a fox nestling in the undergrowth. We enjoyed the facilities of the visitor centre including a cup of tea. Another good day was enjoyed by the Bees group exploring this local nature reserve. There are some stunning images provided by Sue in the Gallery.