Tuesday and Wednesday were spent up on the Greensand Ridge , with very little of interest found whilst working . Back in the yard , one of the other Wardens had brought in a large specimen of Hoof Fungus-Fomes fomentarius , which was on a large Beech that had to come down due to decay , making it dangerous to the public . His book gives it the common name Elephant's Foot , and it dwarfed the 35mm. film canister placed for size comparison .
Thursday was spent hedgelaying with the Surrey Group , unusually in the week , at a school near Cheam .
Carol had booked me on Friday to help her with some more heavy work in the garden . Two trips to the tip with branches too big to go through the shredder , did give the opportunity to have a quick look in at South Norwood Country Park , but here too , things were very quiet .
Half a dozen Shoveller on the lake , were the only out of the ordinary sighting , and the only excitement was when the local Carrion Crows decided en mass , to escort a Grey Heron to the other side of the Parish boundary .
This morning , I headed up on West Wickham Common in brilliant sunshine , but still very wet underfoot , from last night's rain . Still a good amount of fungi around , with White Helvella well outnumbering it's Black relation . Still very few Boletes around , and those that were had been eaten or damaged . Some interesting ones found were :
Mycena vitilis , growing out of small fallen Beech twig ,Oyster Mushroom-Pleurotus ostreatus , on a fallen Silver Birch ,and every now and again , Macrotyphula fistulosa , a very simple elongated spindle . Several noisy Jays and a good sized mixed Tit flock , which contained at least one Goldcrest passed through the dense stands of Holly . The most unusual sighting though , was what I first thought was a moth fluttering about some Bracken , till it settled , when I could see it was a very late Speckled Wood . Surprisingly , given the recent overnight frosts , I also saw a couple of Hoverflies . No sooner had I photographed the Speckled Wood , things went very dark overhead , and as I made my way back to the car , I got a good soaking . After lunch , with blue skies again , I went for a walk in the local wood , which is basically a local dog's toilet . It is mainly Sweet Chestnut which is coppiced in areas at varying times . I find very little fungi around Sweet Chestnut so headed for a small stand of Larch in the middle , an area where the Sparrowhawk often sites it's nest . Even here the fungi was hard to find , but I found a few of interest :Yellow-Cracking Bolete-Leccinum crocipodium ,deep in the leaf litter , Grey Coral Fungus-Clavulina cinerea ,and with more showing every day , the older Stag's Horn/Candle-Snuff Fungus-Xylaria hypoxylon , is really living up to it's first common name . Once again , the weather closed in , and heading home , I got soaked for a second time .