Friday, 12 November 2010

Friday 12th. November 2010

Following a phone call last night from a friend , and with reasonable weather , I headed off for Lullingstone Golf Course , having been told that Devil's Fingers had been found there on some wood chippings . As you can imagine , a Golf Course is a large area to look for a certain fungi , but I was fortunate enough to meet a couple of Greenkeepers in the car park , and they knew exactly what I was talking about , and pointed me in the right direction . Within a short period of time , I was looking at 30/40 specimens of Clathurus archerii , albeit not in the best of condition , not surprising given the rain and cold recently . Also the same number of egg sacks with the fungus still to emerge . So much for me posting that this species is rare ! They are rare , but when talking to a chap from the clubhouse , he told me that the fungi came in with the wood chippings that had been laid on a wet area for the parking of golf carts , so the numbers are artificial . It reminded me of the Early Spider Orchids at Samphire Hoe , that came in their thousands from the spoil taken from the Channel Tunnel , compared to the 5/10 that could be found elsewhere .
The sun actually showed , so I decided to have a walk through the farmland surrounding the Golf Course . The sun shone , but that wind was still blowing strongly , especially in that high , exposed position . The track I walked was lined with high Poplars , as a wind break , and high in these trees I encountered several small flocks of Fieldfares , this was the best shot I could get , as the tops of the trees were constantly on the move , and so were the birds as soon as I got anyway near . There were also a few Redwings amongst them and several small Finches , but they went unidentified as they too were skittish in the wind and I couldn't hear their calls above the wind either . Both Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker and several Skylarks were also seen , but that was it apart from Corvids and Wood Pigeons .
Returning to the woodland areas on the Golf Course , I started finding the odd fungi :
Lactaria amethystea-Amethyst deceiver , still in good condition ,a troop of Inocybe maculata ,
and Clitocybe flaccida-Tawny Funnel Cap .But the weirdest specimen was this Xylaria polymorpha-Dead Man's Fingers , well named ,and a second specimen that should go under the common name of Dead Man's Hand , a relative of the Candle Snuff/Stag's Horn Fungus , and still plenty of Helvella crispa-White helvella around , it has really been a good year for this species .
Heading back to the car to go home for lunch , the skies clouded over and the first few rainspots were felt . By the time I had had lunch , it was raining , just as some people would have been leaving work , hoping for an afternoon's birding , and it hasn't stopped .
Tomorrow looks like a good weather day , and we are hedgelaying close to Leith Hill in Surrey , the highest point in the South East . I wonder if the Ravens that have nested in the area will put in an appearance ?


Warren Baker said...

''Just as some people were leaving work''

You bloody well know who!!!!

Are we going to be treated with Greenies ''seen while eating breakfast'' bird photo's this Year ?

Phil said...

Devil,s fingers,dead man's fingers, dead man's's like a horror movie Greenie.
I didn't sleep well last night due to severe wind and now I won't sleep tonight for fungus nightmares!!
Hope you get to see the Ravens tomorrow.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
You might .

Greenie said...

Phil ,
You should be careful what you eat at your age .

ShySongbird said...

I was going to suggest Rennies for Phil but you did rather steal my thunder Greenie :)

You certainly found some curious looking specimens today with very fitting names!

Good luck with the hedgelaying and the Ravens.

Ken. said...

Hi Greenie
Couldn't stay away from the 19th hole then?
Nice shots of the Dead Mans Fingers/Hand.
Hope you see a Raven or two.
Enjoy your weekend.