Sunday, 15 November 2009

Candlesnuff fungus, Sparsholt College woodland floor 15th November 2009

Candlesnuff fungus Xylaria hypoxylon

Collins Complete Guide to British Mushrooms and Toadstools describes this fungus as common and widespread, growing on the dead wood of broadleaved trees (Sterry P. and Hughes B. 2009). I have it on good authority (my wife) that if you lightly flick the fungus - the spores come out of the top like smoke - apparently I missed this little trick - and the fungus itself - at the last Swanwick Lake fungi foray.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

5 great birds; 1 MEGA ! (and a bank vole): Ian's birding photos

bearded reedling Panurus biarmicus (Norfolk, October)

juv. hen harrier circus cyaneus (Norfolk, October)

common crossbill Loxia curvirostra (New Forest, June)

woodlark Lullula arborea (New Forest, June)

kingfisher Alcedo atthis (Norfolk, October)

The MEGA ! Brown shrike Lanius cristatus (Surrey, October)

... and the bank vole Clethrionomys glareolus (Surrey, November)

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Fungi Foray @ Swanwick Lakes

A trugg full of 'shrooms and toadstools - including fly agaric Amanita muscaria; the deceiver Laccaria laccata; the amethyst deceiver Laccaria amethystea; birch polpore Piptoporus betulinus with Hypocrea pulvinata; Both lilac and white var. of Inocybe geophyllia var. lilacianal;Cortinarius spp. x 2; common bonnet Mycena alcalina; snapping bonnet Mycena vitilus; poison pie Hebeloma crustuliniforme; (Brown) birch bolette Leccinum scabrumi; Funeral bell (funeral cap) Galerina marginata; Turkey tail Trametes versicolor; glistening inkcap Caprinus micaceus.
Other spp. encountered en route Sep or penny bun Boletus edulis; Russula variata (versicolor) pictured below; Cortinarius Hemitrichus; soft-slipper toadstool Crepidotus mollus.
Russula variata (versicolor)
(Brown) birch bolette Leccinum scabrumi with very unusual twinned fruit body
Birch polypore Piptoporus betulinus with parasitic fungi Hypocrea pulvinata
two-toned pholiata Kuehneromyces mutabilis
the deceiver Laccaria laccata N.B. the distinct gill pattern which remains the same whatever different shape the fruit body itself displays (in deceipt).
the amethyst deceiver Laccaria amethystea N.B. the distinct gill pattern is the same as its close relative Laccaria Laccata

Friday, 6 November 2009

A bird in the hand

Parabuteo unicinctus
The Harris's Hawk Parabuteo unicinctus is a raptor of the south western states of USA, Central and South America - a bird of savanna, chaparrel and other semi-arid habitats. It is a social bird and will often be found hunting in small family groups, working cooperatively to exploit larger quarry. It's natural sociability making it an ideal bird to be trained for falconry (Cornell Lab of Ornithology, 2009 [Online]; The Peregrine Fund, 2009 [Online]). Peter Harvey took the opportunity today to study the species close up and in the hand when a falconer asked permission to hunt through his garden-side wood.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Fungi Foray @ Swanwick Lakes

The picture above illustrates a combined group effort from 5 -10 mins fungi foraging under birch Betula sp. and hazel Corylus avellana in East Valley, Swanwick Lakes NR under the guidance of Phil Budd (Course run by HWT). In no particular order: Common Puffball Lycoperdon perlatum; Common Earth-ball Scleroderma citrinum; Blushing bracket Daedeleupsis confragosa; Common Bonnet Mycena alcalina (pictured below); Lilac (purple) fibre-cap Inocybe geophyllia var. lilacianai; Sulphur Tuft Hypholoma marginatum; The Deceiver Laccaria laccata; Wood Blewit Lepista nuda; Winter (Velvet stemmed) Agaric Clitocybe sp.; Wood pink-gill Entoloma Rhodopolium; Hygrocybes sp. tbc; Galerina marginata; Cortinarius sp. tbc; Poison Pie Hebeloma crustuliniforme; (Brown) Birch Bolette Leccinum scabrumi; remnant Birch polypore Piptoporus betulinus.
Other fungi species identified on the day: Fly Agaric Amanita muscaria (pictured below); Tricholoma fulvum (not pictured).
Common Bonnet Mycena alcalina
Fly Agaric Amanita muscaria
And what of the mystery garden 'shrooms? Phil Budd without hesitation identified the specimen I had taken along as Fairy-ring toadstool Marasmius oreades.