Poor old Gilbert is getting restless. Despite the fact that there is more interest in wildlife than ever before, it seems that most of the so-called conservation organisations are losing interest in species. Instead they prefer to babble on about landscape scale conservation and ecosystem services (whatever they are). Could this be because most of their staff don't have any knowledge about species if they don't have four legs?
This is my attempt to encourage an interest in good old-fashioned natural history.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Carry on fungus

For the benefit of Steve and anyone else whose humour is at the 'Carry On' level, today I've been checking out the Bishop's Ring (SU950156) but I saw little of note apart from Cut-leaved Crane's-bill still in flower.

So back to a fungus foray at Oxshott Common. Apparently this site has the largest number of recorded fungi anywhere in the world, with a list of over 3000 species. Well I'm glad it has something going for it because I wasn't impressed! An extremely dull secondary woodland that is so riddled with dog shit that it was impossible to avoid stepping in it. I was delighted to leave.

Whilst there I did see some interesting fungi. Plicaturopsis crispa was, surprisingly, new to the site.

The Funnel Chanterelle Cantharellus tubiformis wasn't new for me but is worth a photo nonetheless.

Earth Fan Thelephora terrestris was common in one small area.

One of my favourites from the day was the Ear-pick Fungus Auriscalpium vulgare which grows on old pine cones.

The undoubted highlight though was the non-native Aseroe rubra. This species is a native of Australia and Oxshott Common is its only known British site. It seems to have been twitched by every man and his dog this autumn and it was great to catch up with it. Continuing with the Carry On theme, I can't help looking at the stem and thinking that it looks like some sort of animals phallus. What could have happened to a phallus to make the end like that doesn't bear thinking about though.

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