Monday, 13 October 2008

Monday 13th.October 2008

High Elms Country Park was due for a visit , but on the way , dropped in at Keston Ponds . Needn't have bothered really , as very little has changed . Could only find two Mandarin , one male and one female , asleep on the branches of the overhanging trees . The female Mallard still has her five youngsters in tow , the three Canada Geese and the Aylesbury type white duck all seem as if they are here for the winter . Not surprising really , as a family with two youngsters were just arriving with the best part of a sliced loaf , the charge towards them was just starting as I pulled away .
I got to High Elms in watery sunshine and a mild breeze . As I left the car park , it sounded as if World War 3 was just about to start between the Magpies and the Mistle Thrushes . As I skirted the golf course , Two Mistle Thrushes were sat up nicely atop a conifer , first shot of the day I thought . No , they decided at that moment , that now was the time to enter the fray , and the chance was gone . As usual , there was a lot of activity on and around the Ring Necked Parakeets nesting tree , and were making as much noise as the Magpies and Mistle Thrushes combined .
Now the Conservation Field has been cut , there is very little colour about . The exception is
Geranium robertianum-Herb Robert , which will happily go on flowering until November , having started in April . As I was walking , my attention was drawn to a small yellow fungus growing on a fallen branch , it was Bisporella citrina . As I was photographing this one , I noticed another further along the branch . This one was Chlorosplenium aeruginascens-Green Wood-cup . There are not many green fungi , and the fruiting bodies of this one are not often found . Normally , just the conspicuous blue/green staining of the wood is all that is seen . Interestingly , this fungi has a connection with Kent , as the stained wood , was formerly used in the making of Tunbridge ware . Different colours of wood blocks were used to give the required patern , compressed , then cut into thin veneer . The individual fruits are like small shells .
Amongst the Pines at the end of the Orchid Bank , I found a fresh Geastrum triplex-Earth Star .
As the fungi matures , the star points will curl under , forming a collar with the spore sack elevated above . Being surrounded by Beech trees , the Orchid Bank is showing off it's autumn colours .From the Orchid Bank , I set off to find a mature 'Plums and Custard' fungi , but without success . But I did find Tricholoma squarrulosum .In the same area , I found another 15+ fresh specimens of Coprinus picaceus-Magpie Fungus . I know I have posted it before , but to my mind it is well worth another look . I I mentioned earlier that not many fungi are coloured green , well I came across another one , not far from the Magpie Fungus . This one was Stropharia aeruginosa-Verdigris agaric , more often found in grassland , but here found in the middle of woodland .Still looking for the 'Plums and Custard' , I moved my search over towards Burnt Gorse , and there I was successful . Although a bit chewed , this specimen of Tricholomopsis rutilans , about the size of a saucer , shows exactly how it gets it's common name . Satisfied with the results of my search , I made my way back to the car , via the dipping pond . Just the Moorhens and a solitary Migrant Hawker were seen , so I decided to take a Quercus rubra-Red Oak , an introduced species , for it's autumn colour . As I did so , I heard a call I recognised , and in flew a Grey Wagtail , and landed on the guard rail of the dipping platform . It ran along the rail and just before it took off again -

The next two days will be spent continuing to lay the hedge up on the Greensand Way , and Thursday , the winter workparties begin to restore heathland on Hayes Common . Postings for the next few days will be dependant on what is seen .

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

well done on the Grey Wag Greenie. They are flighty little blighters. I am learning a lot from your fungi classes, I see some of the ones you describe in the wet woods.