Friday, 19 October 2012

Friday 9th. October 2012

Non stop rain put paid to any thoughts of getting out today , but it has made time to catch up on some interest found during recent visits .
A visit to High Elms LNR turned into a fungal foray , as apart from the common birds , no others were found . I headed to the area below the Orchid Bank looking for one of my favourite species of fungi , Magpie Fungus / Coprinus picaceus , but all I could find were specimens that were just
forcing their way through the leaf litter . I eventually found one fully out , but unfortunately a slug or snail had got there first and munched through the stipe / stem of the specimen . It wasn't till I almost
reached the edge of the reserve that I found one in pristine condition . Other species found included ,
Calocera viscosa ,

Coral Spot Fungus / Nectria cinnabarina ,
 and lots of Stag's Horn or Candle-snuff Fungus /  Xylaria hypoxylon .
On the way home , a stop at Keston Ponds produced False Chanterelle / Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca , before the return of the rain had me heading there .
A return visit to Knole Park at Sevenoaks , still found no sign of the Autumn rut , but I did find the
buck that Ken / Focusing on Wildlife  posted recently . He was strutting around the high ground , but that was the only male seen during the visit . Small groups of does and youngsters were seen , a few
joining the buck on the high ground , but it seemed his top priority was resting . Given the time of year and that these are wild animals , I kept a good distance and within easy reach of a fallen tree , but a group of people came up from the car park and got within 10 metres of the buck to get photographs . They were then joined by two young mothers with children in front facing pushchairs . As it happens , nothing untoward happened and they all went back down to the car park , but if the buck had felt threatened by the group and charged , who was in the front line to receive injuries from those formidable antlers ? Heading back to the car , a movement on a shady wall turned out to be a
Nuthatch , no doubt looking for insects . Further on , two female Sika deer crossed the the track in front of me and were soon bending into the woodland , distinguished by their dark coat and the light
coloured roundels on the back of their hind legs , just below the knee . Almost at the car , an
enormous specimen of Hoof Fungus or Tinder Fungus / Fomes fomentarius on a majestic Beech , being at least 60 cms. in height .
A visit to the 'tree laying' reserve , produced more Great Crested Newt sightings , along with a quick
glimpse of a Common Shrew , before it dashed off , and a more considerate member of the Rove
Beetle family , the wonderfully named Devil's Coach Horse / Staphylinus olens . A bright orange/yellow blob spotted in the distance , turned out to be a nice specimen of Yellow Brain
Fungus / Tremella mesenterica .
Another attempt at photographing a Kingfisher was going well when one flew into sight and looked to be intent on landing in some Willow some 15 mtrs. from the hide . As it did so a visitor opened the door , slammed it shut , then proceeded to make as much noise as possible opening and securing the
viewing flap . Before the Kingfisher flew off , I just managed four shots . Having sat down , the visitor asked ' anything interesting about ? ' , ' not now ' I answered . Only saving grace was that the
bird was in the shade and on a swaying branch . With not much else about apart from a small flock of Stock Doves and the male Mallards trying very hard to convince the females that it was in fact
Spring , I headed home . 


Alan Pavey said...

A great selection of fungi Greenie, shame about the Kingfisher being disturbed it would have been nice to get some more good shots.

Warren Baker said...

A magnificent beech tree like that is a rarity in itself Greenie. I'll have to look out for some of these fungi, they look quite addictive ( to study - not eat!)

ShySongbird said...

A great selection of attractive and interesting fungi there Greenie and some lovely photos too, I particularly liked the one of the False Chanterelle.

It is worrying that people don't recognise the potential dangers of wild animals, as you said, those people could easily have found themselves in trouble at this time of year.

What a shame you didn't manage more photos of the Kingfisher although the one you did manage is lovely. I can imagine your frustration at the thoughtless visitor! I often get lined up to take a photo of a bird during a walk when someone appears and frightens the bird away. They sometimes ask what I am photographing and I'm so tempted to say 'nothing now you're here'!

Kylie stapleton said...

The picture of your young "magpie" mushrooms look like a shaggy mane. What makes you certain that it was of the magpie variety?

Greenie said...

Kylie ,
Apologies for not spotting your comment earlier .
Both my 'Magpie' and your 'Shaggy mane / assuming Coprinus comatus' do indeed look very similar at first look .
But , the habitat of each are totally different . Your 'Shaggy mane' is found in open grassland , roadsisides and recently disturbed ground .
The 'Magpie' , which I find every year in the same area , is found in Beech woods on chalky soil .
Once mature , there is quite a difference , as you would appreciate .
Nice to see your interest in fungi , Best wishes .