Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Wednesday 8th.October 2008

Spent most of today , hedgelaying up on the Greensand Ridge , in great weather . Birdwise , both Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker were seen and heard , in fact one of them must have thought it was Spring , and started territorial drumming , high in a large Beech tree . Constant Tit communicating calls were heard in the adjoining woodland , and Corvid activity was noisy .
Once again , at least one , possibly two Common Buzzards were seen , being mobbed by the said Corvids , and forcing them ever higher on the thermals . By shortly after lunch , the 105 metres of hedge , the first part of this year's programme was finished , and we returned to the yard .

The rest of the day was spent doing some clearance work on the perimiter of the yard , which turned up some interesting fungi . The first was a member of the Clitocybe family , with the weather connected name Clitocybe nebularis-Clouded Agaric . These were the first of this species I have seen this year , and I was surprised to see some of the older specimens had already split with age . Also first sighting this season for me was a very common fungi Xylaria hypoxylon-Stag's Horn or Candle-snuff Fungus . I must admit that I like the second common name best . These specimens are fresh , but when they mature , the tips will turn black , looking just like snuffed-out candles .
The best find in the same area was the other member of the Stinkhorn family . A little while ago , I posted Phallus impudicus-Stinkhorn , today was the turn of Mutinus caninus-Dog Stinkhorn . In all , I found 10/15 specimens of this fungi , from the early stage of just rupturing the semi-submerged egg ,
to the fully mature fungi , with the slime covered head smelling of rotten flesh , which contains the spores , waiting for insects to be attracted and carry off the spores on their legs ,
to the damaged specimens , showing that the whole thing is hollow and made up of a honecomb-like structure .

This is only the third site that I have found this species .

As the sun was still out , I couldn't resist popping over the road and lifting five pairs of refugia . When I got there , the sun was only on one pair , and there was nothing underneath , but I did find one Grass Snake , even though the temperature had fallen without the sun .Two Slow Worms and a single Common Lizard , which was sloughing - shedding skin , were also recorded .

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