Saturday 22 October 2016

A Shoveller amid the Toadstooling

After a slightly lazy morning where I overslept Parkrun and then went to the park where nice policemen gave me a new D-Lock for my bike and painted a postcode on the bottom bracket, I went out for a run this afternoon to hunt some toadstools.

I've seen so many colourful pictures of toadstool on Instagram, I figured it was a good time to head into the woods in Beacon Hill Reserve and see what I could find. Never mind cutting out the dead wood, I was actively seeking it.

But while on the initial runout down the cycle track, my eye was caught through the reeds by flashes of unfamiliar looking waterfowl out on London Road Pond. I went through a gap onto the bank to take a look, and there out on the water was a shoveller drake, swimming furiously around in tight circles with its head under the water.

Apparently this is how they feed in large groups to disturb prey items.

I've never seen one at close range, and certainly it's a bird I've never spotted out on this water before, so although a relatively common bird I was still pretty excited to see it. Did I have my good camera on me? No, of course not. Really annoying!

So, up the hill and onto the reserve, and a trip under the trees to see what was about. And the answer, in a fungal sense, was nothing exciting. A few king alfred's cakes, a few slimes of some description, and some plain white bracket fungi. No fly agarics or scarlet elf cups for me!

Still, I needed the 9km run, but laziness meant I didn't have time to deploy my new pencils and sketch pad on anything. The world will have to wait for my artistic talents a little longer.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 22.10.16


  1. Your blog titles always crack me up (hope that means the same thing in British English as it does in American English)! I've never seen a shoveler in person - lucky you.

  2. Thanks Wilma! I have to keep in practice for the stuff I do at work now.

  3. Pretty nature, I love the cow, mooooooooo.

  4. shovellers are beautiful, they always steal the limelight when they turn up in Edinburgh's ponds (well, until the mandarin turns up that is!)