In the gloom , I had a look around Keston Ponds and Common this morning . Just the usual species on the middle pond , very little on the top pond , but the bottom pond held 7 Mandarin Ducks , 4 males and 3 females , probably part of the flock of 23 that were at Kelsey Park when I last visited . They were in the dullest corner of the Pond , fossicking for Beech mast amongst the leaf litter and mud . I have also seen them feeding on acorns , as they fell from Oak trees in previous years . They were quite happy with my presence , but when a dog walker came through , they headed for the middle , and then disappeared into the branches of a fallen tree on the island . I did however find 2 Goldcrests today , the first for a long time .
Heading off over the Common , it was obvious that the large emergence of fungi over the last week or so , has come to a stop , and it was back to searching for species , but a few newcomers turned up :
Coltricia perennis , a heathland variety .
In the same area , under Scots Pines , Lactarius rufus-Rufous Milk-cap .
Hebeloma crustuliniforme-Poison Pie , and yes , it is poisonous . Dean , this could be your ? from a couple of days ago , but I was put off by the dark stem on yours , but it might just be with age .
The Otidea onotica-Hare's Ears , have really come on since my last visit , and there are more specimens than I have ever seen before .A close up of one of the larger specimens , shows exactly how it gets it's common name .
And finally , a small bracket , with a big name , Bjerkandera adusta .
Whilst writing this , I received a phone call regarding probably my favourite fungi , Clathrus archeri-Devil's Fingers/Octopus Staghorn . I'm told that there are good numbers on the site , but with working up on the Common tomorrow , I can't get to them till Friday , so I hope they don't come to harm in the meantime .