Roydon Fen, 28 August 2023

After shopping in Diss I popped out to nearby Roydon Fen to walk the circuit there and blow the cobwebs away. My hopes of funding fungi were dashed but I did find a few plants of interest. 

In the wet woodland Bifid Hemp Nettle, Dewberry and Gypsywort were the most pleasing but as I got round into the drier woodland on the north side of the site I was greeted by a couple of very strange and unexpected species. These were Purple Viper's Bugloss and Garden Tickseed. Both presumably garden escapes or from a 'meadow mix' but very nice to see. Especially the former which only naturally occurs near Lands End!   

                                                                                                                              Purple Viper's Bugloss
                                                                                                                             Garden Tickseed

Fungi update - rare finds!

I had not nailed the id of a couple of fungi I found at Broadland CP last week.

The first was an attractive dusky pink, almost funnel-shaped one with a distinctive shaped stipe and widely spaced gills. I thought this was Rosy Spike, Gomphidius roseus but was put off a bit because of it's rarity. Talking to James Emerson about it he confirmed my suspicions. This is only the 4th county record and the first since 2000 so I was rather chuffed to say the least!     

The second was a brown bracket fungi with a tufted hairy upper surface. This turned out to be Brownflesh Bracket, Coriolopsis gallicia itself with only 7 previous county records!

Many thanks to James for his input which is greatly appreciated. 

                                                                                                                Rosy Spike, Gomphidius roseus
                                                                                                  Brownflesh Bracket, Coriolopsis gallica

Tyrrel's Wood, 27 August 2023

A quick visit to my local ancient woodland just squeezed in before the rain set in for the afternoon.

It was pretty disappointing from a fungi point of view with just False Death Cap, Ochre Brittlegill, Smokey Bracket, Glistening Inkcap and Sulphur Tuft. Calling Nuthatches in 2 different spots was encouraging though.

                                                                                                                                    False Death Cap
                                                                                                                                   Glistening Inkcap
                                                                                                                            Ochre Brittlegill
                                                                                                                           Smokey Bracket
                                                                                                                                    Sulphur Tuft

Broadland CP, Kelling and a rare visit to Cley, 26 August 2023

A long day out visiting a number of spots and a nice social to finish things off.

My first stop on a day north of the city was Broadland CP (aka Horsford Woods!) for a fungi foray. Jeremy had tipped me off about some fungi there so I headed to the spot he'd pinpointed. A little gate-jumping later and I found what I was looking for - the rather splendid Ghost Bolete, growing under birches on the edge of the heath. This species is very similar to both Birch Bolete and Leccinum cyaneobasileucum with the latter also having dark and light forms so id is not straightforward (when is it ever with fungi?!). The photos below show the pale and dark ones I found to illustrate the point. 

                                                                                                                                     Ghost Boletes

Also there is  agood mooch about I found loads of Snowy Inkcaps emerging from dried animal dung, Ochre Brittlegill, Tawny Grisette, Purple Swamp Brittlegill, a couple of bracket fungi yet to be id'd and a dried up woody bolete with a really chunk stipe that was probably Cep. A fly-over Crossbill was also rather pleasing as was an almost black Bank Vole.

                                                                                                                                Snowy Inkcap
                                                                                                                         Purple Swamp Brittlegill

I then headed up to the coast and after popping into Cley Spy to drop off an unwanted tripod for them to sell for me I made my way to Kelling and a date with a rather special plant - Yellow Star Thistle. I found it easily in a field not far from the coast road along with masses of Alsike Clover and Red Clover, Fodder Vetch, Sainfoin and Tall Melilot. While I was nearby it would have been amiss not to call in to Cley so I did just that and had a walk along East Bank. I found the long-staying Long-billed Dowitcher amongst the many Black-tailed Godwits on Arnold's Marsh plus 1 Greenshank, a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Knot, 3 Avocet, 5 Dunlin and 6 Curlew. On the Serpentine were 4 Snipe and on Snipes Marsh a Green Sandpiper. Both Bearded Tit and Reed Warbler were along the East Bank too. 

                                                                                                                                   Yellow Star Thistle
                                                                                                                                    Tall Melilot
                                                                                                                                   Alsike Clover
                                                                                                                                Fodder Vetch

Heading back towards Norwich a quick call in a Buxton Heath resulted in a new insect for me in the form of Heather Mining Bee plus Tawny Grisette, Birch Milkcap, loads of Devil's-bit Scabious and curiously Himalayan Honeysuckle in the carpark. 

                                                                                                                              Heather Mining Bee
                                                                                                                            Tawny Grisette
                                                                                                                            Devil's-bit Scabious
                                                                                                                           Birch Milkcap
                                                                                                                         Himalayan Honeysuckle

One final call was a house call at Jeremy and Vanna's where J showed me some plants on his allotment - Thorn Apple was the main reason but Maple-leaved Goosefoot, Henbane and Tree Spinach were also very nice. We finished drinking tea and catching up at chez Bartlett while the heavens opened outside!       

                                                                                                                           Thorn Apple
                                                                                                                        Maple-leaved Goosefoot

Red Cage Fungus - new for Norfolk, 25 August 2023

On Friday I managed to gain access to a private garden at Thorpe Marriott in the NW outskirts of Norwich. With help from a friend or two! 

The reason was the first county record of the stunning Red Cage Fungus, Clathrus ruber. This curious spcies is one of the greater 'stinkhorn' family of fungi that emerge from an 'egg'. They burst out in all their glory only to quickly fade and wither. Hence the urgency of going on Friday rather than waiting. The lady who owned the house was very accommodating and we learned that this is the 3rd one to pop up and she promised to tip us off if there's a 4th! Nearby along the Marriot's Way I found a couple of nice Rooting Boletes which Jeremy has kindly examined and confirmed.

                                                                                                             Red Cage Fungus, Clathrus ruber

                                                                                                                          Rooting Bolete

Earlier in the day I'd made a rather disappointing visit to Booton Common where I found little in the way of fungi (just Leopard Earthball of note) but three nice plants - a massive clump of Giant Goldenrod, Alder Buckthorn and Bifid Hemp Nettle. Cutting my losses I grabbed a coffee in Reepham and decided to try nearby Upgate Common, a site I'd not visited for years. It was a good call as there was plenty of fungal interest - literally thousands of Common Puffballs, Common Earthball, Scaly Earthball, Yellow Swamp Brittlegill, Birch Milkcap, Tawny Grisette, Cep (aka Penny Bun), Charcoal Burner, Deer Shield, Fairy Inkcap, Amethyst Deceiver and The Blusher. A Girdled Snail was a first for me too.

                                                                                                                               Giant Goldenrod
                                                                                                                             Alder Buckthorn
                                                                                                                              Tawny Grisette
                                                                                                                            Charcoal Burner
                                                                                                                                     The Blusher
                                                                                                                           Common Earthball
                                                                                                                          Yellow Swamp Brittlegill
                                                                                                                                   Scaly Earthball
                                                                                                                                Birch Milkcap
                                                                                                                             Tawny Grisette
                                                                                                                                 Deer Shield
                                                                                                                                Fairy Inkcap
                                                                                                                                Bifid Hemp Nettle
                                                                                                                                    Girdled Snail

Nowton, Long Melford and an overnight stay, 19 & 20 August 2023

We took our motorhome down into Suffolk on Friday and stayed at a cafe cum cycle centre called Magglia Rosso at Hawstead just south of Bury St Edmunds.

As ever both days were spent walking and exploring.

Our Friday walk was at Nowton taking in part of the St Edmunds Way and Nowton Country Park. Items of interest on the way round were a single Red Kite, Dark Mullein, Migrant Hawker, Brown Hawker and the larvae of the sawfly Craesus septentrionalis (aka Leaf-edge Sawfly) chomping and moving in unison on the edge of a Hazel leaf. The arboretum inside Nowton Park was also interesting with many a weird and wonderful tree including the lovely and fantastically-named Goldenrain Tree! The pond at our overnight spot had Ruddy Darter and Red Bartsia.

                                                                                                                            Craesus septentrionalis
                                                                                                                                   Goldenrain Tree
                                                                                                                                Dark Mullein

On Saturday we relocated to Long Melford where another long walk along part of the Stour Valley Walk and by Kentwell Hall produced a new fungi for me Solitary Amanita plus Rooting Bolete. Plants were a little weird with a set-aside containing Reversed Clover (aka Persian Clover) and Long-headed Clover (a ssp of Crimson Clover), no doubt both the remnants of a fodder crop. In the village by the bridge were some nice clumps of Small Teasel.    

                                                                                                                                 Solitary Amanita
                                                                                                                                Rooting Bolete

                                                                                                                                Reversed Clover
                                                                                                                              Long-headed Clover
                                                                                                                                     Small Teasel