From the hide in the creek could be seen teal, golden-eye, Canada geese and more mallard and coots. On leaving the hide to return we followed a raised a wooden path through a fallen tree marshy patch where there were moss, red dog-wood and ferns. Here too, we found on the bare trees yellow/orange lichen which grows most actively when trees are not in leaf. This lichen was thought to be Xanthoria parietina. Also spotted on the logs partially submerged in the water were red caps, one of the cup fungi. It was most likely Sarcoscypha coccinea, which is particularly common in the West Country growing on decaying timber on damp ground. Cup fungi produce their spores within the cup itself so cannot fall out, only being dispersed when the cup is knocked sharply.
Having left the figure of eight trail, mute swans, a wren, piedwagtails and some lesser blackbacked gulls were spotted on the way back to the cafe and car park.
We enjoyed a hot drink before leaving at 4.30pm, some celandines and snowdrops were seen on the way out.
Malcolm Marston Natural History Secretary