Garthdee Allotments

the e-home of the Garthdee Field Allotments Association

Tag: wildlife Page 2 of 6

Exciting Find

Stuart and I happened upon two mushroom enthusiasts at the weekend. Nicola Alcorn and Paul Hagan had returned to the public path by our site to check out some mushrooms they had seen before. Nicola has been kind enough to send me this account of their find.

“This fungus has been tentatively identified as Barometer earth star. – scientific name- Astraeus hydrometricus. Usually found on sandy dry soils under mixed broadleaved trees. Identifying features include large brown spores ( under microscopy) outer felty surface and as humidity changes arms of the star ( can be 7,8 or more) will open and close.”

Paul sent this photo:

Photo Credit: Paul Hagan

Further searching revealed a number of other examples along the path edge.


Nicola and Paul have sent photos and a specimen to the national Mycological expert, Liz Holden believing that if they are correct she may send them on to Kew for verification as this may be a first confirmed example in Scotland.

Fingers crossed, Garthdee Field may be on the map as a site of something very special – as well as for its excellent plots and fine veggies of course!  Just as well, perhaps as the Barometer earth stars don’t make for good eating apparently.

Feathered Friends

These little visitors have certainly helped brighten up some cold, miserable days of late.  Am I right in thinking we have a Greenfinch? Goldfinches? and Sparrow?

These photos were taken with GFAA’s long-lensed camera – the Nikon Coolpix P900.  Remember, any GFAA member can borrow it to take photos for the website. Details below.

Coolpix P900 Camera

Left shivering…

This poor little fella was disturbed and left shivering yesterday after being disturbed from his winter-lair when a new compost bin was being built.  We did our best to find him new accommodation, but I fear he faced a long cold night.

Can anyone say whether he is a frog or a toad, or indeed a prince?

Trees and Bees Survey

The, It’s your Neighbourhood programme, had trees, bees and butterflies as a special focus this year and this prompted us to take a look at the trees and bees found on site.  We decided to conduct a little informal research and thanks goes to all who contributed ideas and information.

Our first report of interim findings is attached via the link below.  All comments, additions or corrections will be gratefully received.


Magic Moments and Butterflies

One of the joys of being on site at this time of year is catching sight of these visitors.

Sedum seems to attract them in huge numbers.  I counted a dozen on this plant at different points in the day.

Ah well, their days are numbered down to precious few I guess, but they certainly add more than a little magic while they are with us.

I’ll have Sedum to split for the coming season: if you’d like one let me know.  You will have to find your own butterflies, however: these are hefted to my plot – I hope!


Our wild flower area has been simply stunning for weeks now.

Thanks to everyone who helped with the hard work to get it re-established this year and especially Michael who kept faith with the original idea of a wild flower garden after the difficulties of our first efforts.

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