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This is an area of damp woodland running east / west along a north facing slope of the Howardian Hills and we were looking at a small area at the top of the slope to compare it with the area down by the lake which we investigated in last years foray.
It is an area of mixed Larch, Scots Pine, Western Hemlock, Oak, Beech, Rowan, Birch and Sycamore, and has many different fungi including Crepidotus variabilis (left)..
It was a very dry September so there had been few fungi in the weeks running up to the foray. I was a bit worried there wouldnt be a lot to show the members on the day but then in the two weeks before Nov 7th it was wet and there were suddenly lots more fungi. I had found one very exciting specimen of a Collared Earth Star Geastrum triplex and I was keen to show them this. I had never seen one of these before in this country but they are clearly not as scarce as I thought!
So, imagine my delight when we stepped out of the cars and tripped over at least 4 of the things and then continued to see several more throughout the foray. Other noteworthy species were lots of troupes of the large greyish Clouded Agaric, numerous Orange gilled Gymnopilus penetrans emerging from dead wood and numerous brown or reddish waxy capped, white gilled Collybia butyracea known as Buttercaps in all stages of development. We identified a reasonable number of species but there were still several I could not identify but thats what keeps you going out for more!
Twelve members attended, including Jonathan Pomroy who identified the birds below and his young son who was a good fungi forager. Six of us retired for coffee and soup and a stab at identifying those fungi we had collected by making spore prints and studying the literature. For example a noble bay brown dome-capped specimen with a white stipe, streaked at its base and having white gills dropped a beautiful pink spore print which identified it as Pluteus cervinus.
by Jonathan Pomroy:
Birds of particular interest are as follows:
Crossbill 5 flew west then 1 seen briefly in top of larch
Redpoll c.35 feeding on birch and larch
Brambling c.10 South West low over trees + 1 female feeding on birch seeds with Redpoll flock
Goldcrest (heard several times)
© Ryedale Natural History Society 2009; Photos © Rhona Sutherland, Jonathan Pomroy and Gill Smith 2009
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