Monday 13 February 2017

Brent Geese and Curlews at Pagham Harbour

On February 7th I visited Pagham Harbour following a report of a pair of Bearded Tits seen at the Breech Pool the previous day. Instead I saw thousands of Brent Geese flying over - heading seawards in the morning and returning in the afternoon. A flock of around a hundred Curlews arrived on the grassland, with some Godwits among them, not sure which species. There were many Widgeon on the mudflats and also some Lapwings. A Cormorant arrived and a Corn Bunting appeared briefly.
Breech Pool

Cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo

Corn Bunting, Emberiza calandra

Curlew, Numenius arquata




Eurasian Widgeon, Anas penelope

Eurasian Widgeon

Godwit and Curlew

Kestrel, Falco tinnunculus


Lapwing, Vanellus vanellus

Pagham Harbour

Snowdrop, Galanthus species

Brent Geese, Branta bernicla

Brent Geese

Saturday 11 February 2017

Black Tooth, Yellow Brain and Bitter Oysterling

Black Tooth, Phellodon niger
On Thursday I met  Mark at a West Sussex site to search a woodland area for a Black Tooth fungus. We had the coordinates and managed to find it, though it looked rather sad. We will return next Autumn when it will be fresh. I also found Yellow Brain and Bitter Oysterling, plus Usnea lichen and Haircap Moss. There were some very large Common Earthballs.
Bitter Oysterling, Panellus stipticus

Black Tooth, Phellodon niger

Black Tooth

Common Earthball, Scleroderma citrinum
11 cm long

unidentified jelly blob found on Sphagnum moss 15mm long

Haircap Moss, Polytrichum commune

Haircap Moss capsule

Lichen, Usnea species

Yellow Brain, Tremella mesenterica 

Yellow Brain

Thursday 9 February 2017

Working for Dukes, Cedar Cups and Boxgrove Priory

Cedar Cup, Geopora sumneriana
Yesterday I joined Murray Downland Trust and Butterfly Conservation members for our second work party of the year at Heyshott escarpment. Most work parties this year have been cancelled due to either ice or wet conditions making work potentially hazardous. It was good to get stuck in again on the east slope for the endangered Duke of Burgundy butterfly. A shrew popped out of the undergrowth. We gathered around to see it, but it had disappeared into a hole at the base of a tree trunk. It reappeared briefly to tell us what it thought of our gardening efforts. A small bird's nest was found on the ground.
  Afterwards I joined Mark near Midhurst to see some Cedar Cup fungi. They were difficult to spot, being earth coloured with a hole in the top. We called in at Mud Foods to collect some of their wonderful pies. Sue enjoyed the vegetarian one and I devoured a Steak and Ale pie. I'm looking forward to the Steak and Kidney pies in the freezer.
  On  the way home I stopped at Boxgrove Priory for the first time to check out the churchyard for fungi. I also went inside the Priory and was amazed at the wonderful interior of this Norman church. I must return with a better camera - the photos below were taken with my camera phone.

Midhurst area:
Cedar Cup, Geopora sumneriana

Yellow Slug, Limacus flavus
Boxgrove Priory:
Candlesnuff Fungus, Xylaria hypoxylon

unidentified muchroom

in wall of ruins next to Priory

Inside Priory: