This morning was Autumn , grey skies and mist . By lunchtime , Summer had returned , and by the time I arrived at High Elms , 21C. was showing on the car thermometer . Needless to say , teeshirt was the order of the day , and I can remember many Summer visits to the site , in much cooler conditions .
A quick look at the dipping pond started the visit . No Damselflies at all , but good numbers of Common Darter , including ovipositing pairs , 3 male Migrant Hawkers , arguing , even though there wasn't a female about , and 2 male and 1 female Southern Hawker , pictured , again the female laying her eggs in the mud on the top of the bank . Best bird of the visit , a Green Woodpecker , was put up on my arrival at the pond .
I decided to follow my Butterfly Transect route as near as possible , as the Conservation Field is now padlocked , with grazing sheep doing their job . I had obviously hoped to find some butterflies given the conditions , but the only recording was a single Meadow Brown , just outside the Conservation Field . Several areas of long grass and Thistle have been mowed since my last visit , so my chances of finding a Wasp Spider on site is virtually zero now .
But all was not doom and gloom , as fungi are still showing well , and a few new species were found :
Clitocybe geotropa , these can grow to between bread and dinner plate size .
Amongst the leaf litter , Clavulinopsis helvola .
A species which appears every year near one of the tees on the Golf Course , Cortinarius purpurascens .Deep in the woods , whilst looking for the black version of the White Helvella posted yesterday , I found several troops of Clouded Agaric-Clitocybe nebularis .
On reaching the 5 bar gate at Burnt Gorse , the area was alive with Ladybirds , sadly very few were native species , the large majority being of the Harlequin species . Several Robber Flies were also sunning themselves on the gate , but the two species didn't clash . Walking across Burnt Gorse and back in such conditions , seemed very strange without a single butterfly .
Back in the woods , I found this caterpillar . I feel as if I have posted this before , and as usual Dean came up with the answer , but I am at a loss again for the ID . I found 2 more Magpie Fungus in the usual area , but then found 5 more , in various stages of development , in a totally different area . This was one of the new 5 , coming towards the end of it's time .A stump in the sunlight looked on fire with Calocera viscosa supplying the flames .
4 hours ago