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November 2020

posted 3 Dec 2020, 04:11 by Jane Arnold   [ updated 3 Dec 2020, 04:19 ]
redpoll

It never ceases to amaze me that if you look carefully enough, there is always something new or a bit unusual to see on the Green. This happened to me a few days ago when I spotted this lovely little bird warming itself in the sun. What is it? Well, it is a redpoll, which is a small brownish finch (about the size of a sparrow), that has a red patch on the top of its head (you can just see the red patch in the photo). They are quite rare on the Green, so I was very excited to see and photograph this one! Now, for those of you that know a bit about birds, you will also know that there are two types of redpolls (common and lesser) which look very similar and are quite difficult to tell apart! However, based on its size, I think this is a common redpoll - but I stand to be corrected!!

leaves

I love it when the fallen leaves are covered in frost and glisten in the morning sun. However, apart from looking lovely, the frost is also important in helping to break down the leaves. Often the skin on the leaves is too tough for the bacteria and fungi to start the decay process, but the ice crystals of the frost, cause the cells to rupture. This in turn now allows the microbes and fungi to penetrate into the leaf, which in turn softens them, so the earthworms can now bury them and release all the goodness into the soil. Amazing!

robin

Finally, you can’t beat a robin to brighten up your day - he obligingly sat on a branch having his photo taken, before dropping down to the ground in search of some food at the bottom of the hedgerow. I could have stood and watched for hours!