A weekend in the Castle Acre/West Acre area, 23 - 24 September 2023

We took the moho over to west Norfolk for an overnighter and did some good walks in the Nar Valley between West Acre and Castle Acre. This included a return to the rewilding woods just west of West Acre that I visited with the NFSG the previous weekend. 

Some of the same fungi were in evidence but this time I found a new species for me - the very attractive and distinctive Matt Bolete. Another Wood Bolete has popped up and Suede Bolete made up a nice trio. There were also many more Common Stinkhorns up than a week ago. On West Acre Common near our overnight spot I found both Ugly Milkcap and Hoof Fungus. Ivy Bees were exceptionally numerous all around the village.

Walking in the other direction towards Castle Acre I found Tawny Funnel, Charcoal Burner, Piano Key Inkcap and Oche Brittlegill while around the castle ditches at Castle Acre Lesser Calamint was common and a Grey Wagtail flew over. 

                                                                                                                                    Matt Bolete
                                                                                                                                         Wood Bolete

                                                                                                                                     Suede Bolete
                                                                                                                                      Hoof Fungus
                                                                                                                                 Beefsteak Fungus

                                                                                                                              Common Stinkhorns
                                                                                                                              Charcoal Burner
                                                                                                                                    Ochre Brittlegill
                                                                                                                                      Tawny Funnel
                                                                                                                                 Piano Key Inkcap

                                                                                                                                              Ivy Bees
                                                                                                                           Lycogala sp slime mould
                                                                                                                                   Lesser Calamint

Great Wood, Shotesham, 21 September 2023

My search for some different local woodland to explore took me into Great Wood just outside Shotesham yesterday. The wood is private but in true 'right to roam' style I don't let these things stop me!

I was predominantly looking for fungi but in this respect it was pretty disappointing. The highlights turned out to be molluscs in the form of both Leopard Slug and Spanish Slug. While being serenaded by calling Nuthatches I did find Pale Brittlestem, Bleeding Porecrust, Pine Jelly Spot, Glistening Inkcap, Fairy Inkcap, Wood Woolyfoot, Cramp Balls, Collared Parachute, Nettle Rash, Pale Bramble Rust, Violet Bramble Rust, Oak Mildew, Jelly Ear, Turkeytail, Silverleaf Fungus and a couple of others still being sussed!

                                                                                                                                  Leopard Slug
                                                                                                                                    Spanish Slug

                                                                                                                                 Pine Jelly Spot
                                                                                                                                   Nettle Rash

                                                                                                                                     Pale Brittlestem

                                                                                                                                    Collared Parachute
                                                                                                                                 Bleeding Porecrust
                                                                                                                                     Glistening Inkcap

A rare Weevil on my study wall! 17 September 2023

On Sunday evening walking into my study (where I am sat typing this now) I spotted a medium-sized beetle high up on the wall. With the aid of a chair I managed to get up to the required height to get a half decent shot of it. Having no idea what it was I did some online homework and am pretty sure it is the rare (but spreading) invasive Broad-nosed Weevil, Otiorhynchus aurifer. Weevil id is not easy but this does seem to tick all the boxes for this species. 


Martin's Meadows and Brandeston, Suffolk, 17 September 2023

Our Sunday out was in mid-Suffolk where we visited the small SWT reserve of Martin's Meadows and then did a nice walk at nearby Brandeston. 

Apart from fruit picking I found a few items of interest. At Martin's Meadows the Meadow Saffron (aka Autumn Crocus) the site is famous for was looking very nice and on the meadow edge I found Red-banded Webcap  and Spectacular Rustgill.

On the walk at Brandeston on a wide grassy verge under oaks I found both Rooting Bolete and Iodine Bolete (the latter under a yew hedge and taken home for checking) plus a nice oozy Oak Bracket on one of the large oaks.

                                                                                                                               Meadow Saffron
                                                                                                                                 Spectacular Rustgill

                                                                                                                              Red-banded Webcap

                                                                                                                                     Iodine Bolete

                                                                                                                                     Oak Bracket
                                                                                                                                    Rooting Bolete

West Acre with the Norfolk Fungus Study Group, 16 September 2023

With autumn now starting to gather pace fungus forays with the NFSG are fortnightly. This weekends trip was out west to West Acre and a good explore around their re-wilding area consisting of mainly oak, beech and pine woodland. It was another new area for me and after a slow start the goodies soon started to be found and we ended up with another impressve list.

Top of the pops was the the 2nd county record of the golden brown Wood Bolete growing as it often does with Dyer's Mazegill. There were a plethora of new species or me including Milk White Brittlegill, Dung Roundhead, the colourful (when cut!) Inkstain Bolete, Redleg Toughshank, Clustered Toughshank, Oak Mazegill, Skullcap Dapperling, Blackfoot Polypore, Chickenrun Funnel, Sooty Bark Disease, Coprinopsis insignis, White Fibrecap and 2 smuts - Campion Anther Smut and False Oat Grass Smut. Some utterly spectacular Yellow Stagshorn and Beefsteak Fungus, Common Stinkhorn, Dog Stinkhorn, Black Bulgar, Petticoat Mottlegill, Deceiver and Dusky Puffball. For once I was pleased to be able to find and actually id some correctly! 

Vanna brought her sweep net so we were also treated to a few insects of interest  - Bishop's Mitre Shieldbug, Monoceros Beetle, 24-Spot Ladybird, the attractive bug Pantilius tunicatus, caterpillars of Pale Tussock, Knot Grass and Yarrow Pug and then near the end the first Norfolk record of an extremely rare beetle Bruchidius siliquastri a weevil that is found in the seedheads of Judas Tree. 

Birds seen/heard were Nuthatch, Sparrowhawk, Crossbill, Marsh Tit and Great Spotted Woodpecker plus 2 Red Kites near Swaffham on the way.

                                                                                                                                       Wood Bolete
                                                                                                                                      Yellow Stagshorn
                                                                                                                                    Beefsteak Fungus
                                                                                                                               Milk White Brittlegill
                                                                                                                                         Inkstain Bolete
                                                                                                                              Dusky Puffball
                                                                                                                            Petticoat Mottlegill
                                                                                                                                Redleg Toughshank
                                                                                                                                     Black Bulgar
                                                                                                                                     Dyer's Mazegill
                                                                                                                                  Blackfoot Polypore
                                                                                                                                  Skullcap Dapperling
                                                                                                                               Campion Anther Smut
                                                                                                                                   White Fibrecap
                                                                                                                                 Dyer's Mazegill
                                                                                                                                Yellow Stagshorn
                                                                                                                                      Oak Mazegill
                                                                                                                             Clustered Toughshank
                                                                                                                         Common Stinkhorn
                                                                                                                        Coprinopsis insignis
                                                                                                                             Dung Roundhead
                                                                                                                           Yellow Stagshorn
                                                                                                                              False Oat Grass Smut
                                                                                                                    Pale Tussock Moth caterpillar
                                                                                                                        Bishop's Mitre Shieldbug
                                                                                                                              Pantilius tunicatus
                                                                                                                             Knot Grass Caterpillar