Walk report: 04 November 2021 Eyeworth Pond with Richard Smith

Meeting at Eyeworth Pond we had early views of male and female Mallard, and Mandarin Duck gathered mostly on the wooded margins, along with a pair of Teal.

A pair of Mandarins © Glynis Payne

We set out under bright sky, walking into a brisk northerly wind, progressing along the old Powder Road gravel track and the adjoining woods where we found a variety of fungi including Spectacular Rustgill Gymnopilus junonius. We paused briefly to inspect the Chalybeate Iron Well and the iron-stained ground around it which borders the path on the brook feeding Eyeworth Pond. 

Spectacular Rustgill © Glynis Payne

Chalybeate Iron Well © Richard Smith
Before crossing the brook further upstream, we had excellent views of individual groups of Fallow Deer - buck and hinds crossing the open ground beneath Eyeworth Wood. A melanistic buck stood out with an impressive set of antlers.

Melanistic Fallow buck © Richard Smith 

Walking uphill towards Eyeworth Wood, small groups of Redwing fed and flew between berry laden Holly bushes. A few Dwarf Gorse and Ling were in flower amongst the scrub forming this part of the walk.

Reaching the ridge overlooking Howen Bottom, we found Common Wasp and a solitary European Hornet circling around and feeding amongst the more sheltered holly bushes. Pausing for coffee in Eyeworth Wood, offered an opportunity for fungi hunting which included Honey Fungus Armillaria mellea growing amongst the numerous fallen and decaying trees found in this wood. Also found during the walk were , Green Elf-cup Chlorociboria eruginascensAmethyst Deceiver Laccaria amethystine and Burgundydrop Bonnet Mycena haematopus.

Amethyst Deceiver with Green Elfcup © Chris Robinson
Burdundydrop Bonnet © Chris Robinson

Returning along the bridlepath through the woods, we spotted Blackbird, Blue Tit and large groups of Chaffinch foraging amongst the Beech mast and leaves. A single Brambling was also spotted briefly. Butchers Broom was found in some parts of the lower woodland and the fields next to the woods there were also small groups of Starling and a Green Woodpecker. We enjoyed watching a couple of sows, one a Gloucester Old Spot, and several piglets that rummaged around in the fields beside Eyeworth Lodge. 

Arriving back at Eyeworth Pond, the old adage “you see more birds in the car park” proved correct! We were treated to excellent views of a pair of Goosander, repeatedly diving to feed, as well as Moorhen, and larger numbers of Mandarin Duck. RS

A pair of Goosanders © Glynis Payne

Our route © Ordnance Survey