Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Wednesday 9th. November 2011

With two of the next three days seeing me hedgelaying , and having completed a couple of chores around the house while it was still dull and damp during the morning , it was good to see brighter weather with some good sunny periods turn up this afternoon . So after lunch , I set off for High Elms , primarily to check on the Magpie Fungus , which was just showing through last week . But
before leaving , I couldn't resist a shot of a male and female Chaffinch that were sunning themselves in next door's Laburnham tree . On arrival at High Elms , I made my way to the area around the
Orchid Bank , and on the way came across a large show of Clouded Agaric / Clitocybe nebularis , as often found , forming a ring around a rotting stump . A total of 30/40 specimens made up the circle which had a 2m. diameter . Also seen , in large numbers , were my first sightings of the year of
Stag's Horn or Candle-snuff Fungus / Xylaria hypoxylon . Reaching the Orchid Bank , I found that the original specimen of Magpie Fungus / Coprinus picaceus was not to be seen , but at least 15 other
 specimens , in various stages , were found . Some were at their best , like the one above , some had
 passed their best , but were still intact . Several had been eaten , then collapsing onto the ground .
And some had gone into meltdown , exuding black inky fluid , from which the family gets it's common name , Ink Cap . The black fluid used to be collected for use as writing material . While in the area , a quick look at Burnt Gorse revealed that most of the area has been cut , probably ready for
sheep to be put on to graze , and on the sunny side of the five bar gate , a native 7 Spot Ladybird ,
and at the other end , it's alien relation the Harlequin Ladybird , showing the W or M marking on it's mask . I must admit , after all the talk of this species over-running the native species , I don't think I've seen that many Harlequins this year compared to last , maybe the colder Winter got to them .
Two species found on the way back to the car , with very similar coloured caps , were Wood Blewit /
 Lepista nuda , with stem concolorous with the cap , and Mycena pura , with it's thin whiter stem.
The last species found was one of the Milk Caps , Lactarius pubescens , an unusual hairy species , but not one for the table , poisonous . The Lactarius in the name , denotes that all the family exude , white , milk-like fluid when the cap is crushed or broken .
The best of the few birds heard/seen , were a few Marsh Tits in a mixed Tit flock , feeding high in the canopy , a couple of Bullfinches and the odd Nuthatch . All in all , a good visit , at last in some sunshine .


Rob said...

Good selection of fungi there, Greenie. I especially like the shots of the Magpie fungus. Have you tried using the black drippy stuff as ink? Need a quill first, I suppose.

Phil said...

Good to see you're finding some fungi Greenie. As for the Harlequins, it's an ill wind that blows nobody some good......or something like that!!

Alan Pavey said...

That is a really good collection, I've not come across Magpie fungus before.

Warren Baker said...

Doesn't it make a difference with some sunshine Greenie!! It's good to be out on afternons like these :-)

Ken. said...

Hi Greenie.
I must say, I have never been into fungi, but that isn't to say that they are not attractive to look at. Many are quite lovely.
I agree with what you say about the Harlequin Ladybirds, I too didn't see that many this year compared to last year.

Anonymous said...

Hi - I was at Fackenden last Sunday and we (me and my 6yr old Alex) had 500+ Harlequin ladybirds and one 7 spot...

Cheers, Andy L