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Earth Star

Monday 17th September 2001, Austria

crested titgreat titblue titcoal titwillow tit WE TAKE a circular walk around the wooded hill Bambichl at the south east corner of Lake Fuschl. At the forest edge we come across one of those loosely connected flocks of foraging birds. There are four species of tit; Crested, Great, Blue, Coal and Willow. long-tailed titWe also see Long-tailed Tits quite often during the holiday. goldfinchesThe crested tit is a species that I've seen before only in its Scottish stronghold on Speyside. A Goldfinch is tagging along with them. We see Robins alongside almost every woodland path.

earth starearth starearth starEarth Star fungus grows on a roadside banking amongst the conifer needles. I've always been intrigued by pictures of this unusual looking species but this is the first time that I've found it. Like puffballs, when given a sharp, gentle tap they release a wisp of brown spores.

We see a Dipper perching on a rock in the stream that runs through Fuschl village.


nutcrackerhazel nutOn our way to Hochlackenhof (we can't get enough of that cheesecake), a raucous call alerts us to a Nutcracker which flies from the top of a conifer then disappears into a clump of saplings where it calls again then starts hammering for a short while. On the return walk we get an even better view. It appears to be after the nuts on the Hazels along the edge of the wood.

Touch-me-not BalsamThis Touch-me-not Balsam, which is much smaller than our Himalayan variety has longer, thinner seedpods. It grows on shady woodland edge roadsides. next page

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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