Dune Waxcap - a historical tick!

Last night Belinda was going through some old photos stored on a disc. Amongst them were 2 pictures of the scarce Dune Waxcap which I took at Burnham Overy Dunes way back in October 2006! 

I had completely forgotten about them but they were a welcome retrospective tick and become my 499th fungus species. 

                                                                                                                            Dune Waxcaps

Knettishall CP, 19 November 2023

Our Sunday walk this weekend was at Knettishall CP, famous for being the starting (or ending) point of the Peddars Way that stretches from here to Holme-next-the-Sea.

With the recent rain we avoided the wet section close to the river and concentrated our walking in the southern section. The woodland didn't yield a huge amount of interest with just Shaggy Scalycap, Clouded Funnel, Rosy Bonnet, Artist's Bracket, Fly Agarcic, Beech Woodwart, Hoof Fungus, Birch Polypore and Crimped Gill but the grassy field beside the Icknield Way was fantastic. It was waxcaps galore with 6 species - Crimson Waxcap, Orange Waxcap, Butter Waxcap, Snowy Waxcap, Cedarwood Waxcap and Blackening Waxcap! Into the bargain Apricot Club, Meadow Coral and Earthy Powdercap were also present.

Redwings, Fieldfares and Siskins were the expected winter fare. 

                                                                                                                          Scarlet Waxcap
                                                                                                                                  Apricot Club
                                                                                                                              Orange Waxcap

                                                                                                                              Blackening Waxcap


Ghana awaits!

In a weeks time I head off to West Africa for a 17-day birding trip to Ghana. 

My fellow tour participants are my brother Jus, Andy Wilkinson and Dave Russell who some of you may know. Using the Ghanaian company Ashanti who came highly recommended it should prove to be a great trip. With just 3 species to go until I reach 3000 world birds I wonder what my milestone species will be...?

Stop press - it was Copper Sunbird!


A long walk at Broadland CP, 11 November 2023

Belinda and I did a long walk around Broadland CP yesterday, taking in Drayton Drewray and Felthorpe Common too.

As it was a hike I didn't stop to look at too much but did find pathside specimens of Root Rot (growing at the base of a rotting pine stump) and a cluster of Veiled Poisonpies which were both new ones for me. Clouded Funnels were up in good numbers and I also spotted Yellow Stagshorn, Purple Brittlegill, Ochre Brittlegill and Hoof Fungus.

Best of all however was a flock of c40 Crossbills flying around the northern part of the country park - my biggest group for many a long year.  

                                                                                                                                  Veiled Poisonpie
                                                                                                                                  Root Rot

Grime's Graves, 5 November 2023

I joined Jeremy, Vanna and Sarah (who kindly drove us) on a foray to the 'MOD Danger Area' just NW of Grime's Graves. Despite it's label there is a public footpath that runs through the area and access is allowed if the flags aren't flying. It's a spot I've been to a couple of times before and never seen a soul.

As always when Vanna is with us she finds some insects of interest with the small parasitic wasp Gelis areator and a congregation of Jet Black Ants on a fence post. Best of all for me was a Parent Shieldbug I discovered on my rucksac! All 3 were new to me. 

There were several new fungi for me too with a cluster of slippery Burnt Knights, Geranium Brittlegill, Stinking Dapperling, Bearded Dapperling, Beige Fibrecap, Rufous Milkcap, Saffron Milkcap and Weeping Bolete. The list from both the woodland (a mix of mainly Oak and Beech but with scattered Birch and Sweet Chestnut and then a pine dominated area) and grassland was impressive. Without going through the entire list my personal highlights were Earpick Fungus, Blackening, Parrot, Butter, Snowy and Cedarwood Waxcaps, Meadow Coral, Apricot Club, Collared Earthstar, Elfin Saddle (in good numbers), Beechwood Sickener, Common Cavalier, Bracken Map, Turf Mottlegill, Clubfoot, Aniseed Funnel, Peppery Roundhead, Conifercone Cap, Hairy Nuts Disco, Freckled Dapperling, Lilac Fibrecap, Earthy Powdercap, Collared Mosscap and Glazed Cup

A lone Crossbill, Redwings and Mistle Thrush were the only avian sightings worth a mention.

                                                                                                                               Parent Shieldbug
                                                                                                                                  Gelis areator
                                                                                                                                  Jet Black Ant
                                                                                                                               Burnt Knight
                                                                                                                             Collared Earthstar
                                                                                                                               Geranium Brittlegill
                                                                                                                              Beechwood Sickener
                                                                                                                         Yellow Stagshorn

                                                                                                                                 Elfin Saddle
                                                                                                                               Bracken Map
                                                                                                                                 Lilac Fibrecap
                                                                                                                             Bluefoot Bolete
                                                                                                                               Turf Mottlegill
                                                                                                                            Earthy Powdercap
                                                                                                                     Unidentified ramaria sp
                                                                                                                               Parrot Waxcap
                                                                                                                                    Meadow Coral
                                                                                                                                Apricot Club
                                                                                                                             Bearded Dapperling
                                                                                                                            Earpick Fungus
                                                                                                                           Cedarwood Waxcap
                                                                                                                              Saffron Milkcap
                                                                                                                                 Beige Fibrecap
                                                                                                                           Peppery Roundhead
                                                                                                                          Common Cavalier

Aurora! Pulham Market, 5 November 2023

Remember remember the 5th of November! I won't be forgetting this one any time soon as I achieved a lifelong ambition to see the Aurora Borealis. And even better in my home county and just 2 miles from my front door!

I had seen posts on twitter with people seeing them and when I realised they were being seen inland and this far south I dashed out and found a quiet lane north of Pulham with an unrestricted view north. A faint glow was visible though the naked eye but the sensor on my iPhone camera did a much better job of picking it up.

Wow, just wow!


Whitlingham CP, 4 November 2023

A fungi 'twitch' to Whitlingham to see 'Ivory Coral' which actually turned out to be Wrinkled Club! Nevertheless a good looking thing. 

While there it would have been amiss not to have a mooch about so I concentrated on the meadow area and nearby wood margins. My best find was a dapperling that has been tentatively id'd as Chestnut Dapperling with a couple of mystery webcaps that will never be id'd without microscopy! Deathcap, Deceiver, Amythyst Deceiver, Lumpy Bracket, Angel's Bonnet, Poisonpie and White Brain were less of an id challenge. 

                                                                                                                           Wrinkled Club

                                                                                                                               Webcap sp x2
                                                                                                                              Angel's Bonnet
                                                                                                                        Deathcaps and Deceivers
White Brain

                                                                                                                         prob Chestnut Dapperling