Once things brightened up this afternoon , I went for a walk over West Wickham and Hayes Commons , primarily to check the fire site was OK after yesterdays burn , and it was . Birdwise , it was very quiet , if you took out the Corvids and Tits , the only birds seen/heard were Green and Greater Spotted Woodpecker , Ring Necked Parakeet , Nuthatch , Goldfinch , Chaffinch ,Pheasant and Robin , and most of them were singletons . I did catch sight of two Vapourer moths , males , busily zig-zagging between trees , but no butterflies .
A couple of days ago , I posted a picture of Helvella lacunosa-Black helvella , well today I came across the other member of the family H.crispa-White Helvella , only the second that I have found this year .
Also found , the early stages of Ascocoryne sarcoides , which sounds as if it should be a polititian in France , rather than looking like purple jelly on a tree stump .
I have mentioned Armillaria mellea-Honey Fungus , also known as Boot-lace Fungus , a couple of times recently , and this is how it gets it's second common name . The fungus spreads by rhizomorphs , looking like boot laces , under the bark of the infected tree and also under the ground , to infect further trees . This is a very dangerous parasite , and there is no cure , so once it is in a tree , that's it .
The last fungi is one of the brackets , Coriolus polypore-Many-zoned Polypore , and basically , you get what it says on the packet .
About the only other thing I found on the wing was this fly , resting on a Russula . Normally , you wouldn't get anywhere near it , but I think it was cold , and just sat . I can't work out which one it is , it just looked very sorry for itself .
And finally , it's official . Following the visit to High Elms , which I was asked to lead , by Butterfly Conservation , Kent Branch , I quote from their Autumn/Winter 2008 Newsletter , talking about Silver Washed Fritillaries - " this was probably the best Kent site for this rather local butterfly , and certainly the best that I had visited " , and that was written by Peter Kirby , the Conservation Officer and Reserve Manager .
Tomorrow it's back to Leith Hill hedgelaying , anything more than Buzzards ?