Crostwright Heath Fungus Foray, 16 November 2019

After a bit of a heavy Friday night at at function at Carrow Road it was off to Crostwright Heath near Honing the following morning from Mum and Dad's. It was the last full meet up of the year for the Norfolk Fungus Study Group. This time Meg Miller, James Emerson and Jeremy Bartlett joined the fray and with rather pleasant autumnal weather it was a great few hours exploring this site which was a new one for me. It consisted of a mixture of broadleafed woodland and heath dominated by gorse and heather.

The official list is not yet out but the following photographs were some of the nicer or new things which I managed to get pictures of. Highlights for me were the outrageous looking Dog Stinkhorn, the rare Fenugreek Stalkball (which really does smell of fenugreek!) and a huge patch of Leafy Brain.

Yellowing Knight

Dog Stinkhorn

Jewelled Amanita

Slender Club

Blackedge Bonnet

Amethyst Deceiver

Birch Brittlegill

Birch Milkcap

Bonfire Scalycap


Common Rustgill

Fenugreek Stalkball

Hare's Ear

Leaf Parachute

Leafy Brain

Nitrous Bonnet

Oak Barkspot

Oakbug Milkcap

Oyster Mushroom

Peniophora quercina

Unidentified at the moment!

Powdered Brittlegill

Purple Jellydisc

Scurfy Deceiver

Small Stagshorn

Smokey Bracket


White Brain

Witches Butter

Yellow Brain

Milking Bonnet

Barnhamcross Common fungi mop-up

There were quite a few fungi that I photographed at Barnhamcross Common about 10 days ago that remained unidentified. Thanks to Neil Mahler, Chris Sharpe, Tony Leech et al these have now been sorted for me. This mycological malarky is a steep learning curve for sure!

Scurfy Twiglet

Toasted Waxcap

Chemical Knight

Clitocybe amarescens

Earthy Powdercap

Hairy Oysterling

Silky Pinkgill

 Tawny Funnel

Isabelline Wheatear, Cley, 13 November 2019

In years gone by an Isabelline Wheatear would have had me dashing up to Cley like a madman but having seen one at Burnham Overy in 2016 the pressure was off to a certain extent! Having been tied up with work since it was found on Sunday, yesterday was my first opportunity to go when I finished a job off.

The walk along the East Bank and subsequent trudge along the shingle behind Arnolds Marsh was met with a complete absence of the bird when I arrived. It had flown miles away onto the grazing marsh! Amazingly, within just 10 minutes it popped up distantly on a fence post and then worked it's way back to us across the single. In no time it was hopping around feeding just 10 feet away! In time it moved west along the back of the shingle ridge at which point I began the walk back. En-route c30 Snow Buntings were showing nicely on the shingle ridge and a imm drake Long-tailed Duck was on the pool to the west of the north end of East Bank. 7 Bearded Tits and then a lovely Otter in the main drain finished off a particularly productive abd highly enjoyable couple of hours. 

Isabelline Wheatear

   Snow Buntings

Classic late autumn rare Phylloscs, 10 November 2019

As I've seen written somewhere else - November is the new October!

A leftover from yesterday that we didn't have time to do yesterday had to be done today so I headed solo up to Lowestoft. The location being 'Flycatcher Alley' on the inland side of Denes Oval. Here I was greeted by the finder Rob Wilton with the news that 2 Hume's Warblers were in the same area. Despite them disappearing for periods and not being hugely vocal I managed some nice views over the next hour and a half together with Chiffchaff, Goldcrests and a Sparrowhawk before I quit the scene.

Next up was a quick visit to Ness Point where, despite a lack of Purple Sandpipers (2 bellend fishermen were on the end of the usual jetty!) I was more than happy with some nice views of Black Redstart around the base of the wind turbine.

I hadn't managed to see Pallas's Warbler yet this autumn so with one at Kessingland SW I headed there next. It took ages but eventually I got some lovely views of this tiny sprite and also heard the call for the first time - like a very muted version of Yellow-browed Warbler. At least 6 Chiffchaffs, 2 Goldcrests and Sparrowhawk were also noted while searching.

My other main target for the day was fungi related (much to the amusement of some birder mates from earlier!) so I headed down the A12 for my quarry. With some very good directions I located them easily - Sandy Stiltballs, a very rare Red Data List species. In all I saw c20 of these weird things that carry their spores on the outside/top of a rudimentary cap that looks like it's been dipped in cocoa!    

Hume's Warbler

Black Redstart

Sandy Stiltballs