|Silver Birch in Byfield Pocket park|
Several of the tree trunks in the area are stained with what at first looks like an orange-coloured lichen, but in fact is an alga, Trentepohlia aurea. It seems to be getting commoner, as I cannot recall seeing it beyond about ten years back. Around here it is usually on the bark of Ash trees but it is often found elsewhere.
In these conditions hungry birds seem to get a little less cautious, taking risks they would normally avoid, and I nearly trod on a pheasant as it rummaged single-mindedly through the undergrowth. It blasted into the air and whirred away cackling frantically. I'm not sure which of us was the more startled!
|The alga, Trentepohlia aurea, in Byfield Pocket Park|