9 October 2013

Fifth Annual Waxcap Wander - Ellenabeich, Seil

Our first four waxcap wanders yielded 9,9,11 & 13 species respectively.  This year's venue was the hillside above Ellenabeich.  It has plenty of short grazed turf so ought to yield a few waxcaps, but I didn't know if it would be as productive as the previous sites.

The forecast was for strong winds and blustery showers with sunny intervals.  When we got out of the cars the wind was so strong that it seemed doubtful if we'd be able to stand up once we were up on the hill.  There was a rabbit running around in the car park and I jotted a note of it so that we'd have at least one biological record before we were forced to dive into the Oyster Bar.

However, most of the hillside proved more sheltered than the car park had been, and we were soon finding waxcaps.  Showers were mercifully few and short, but the wind made our hands very cold, which probably limited the number of fungi we could examine, record and photograph.  It felt like winter had replaced summer overnight.

A special target was the Ballerina Waxcap, our Species of the Month.  Just as I was reminding everyone to look for it, Terry spotted one almost under my feet.

Hygrocybe calyptriformis

We found Ballerinas in three places altogether.  This was the finest.

Hygrocybe calyptriformis, young fruitbody   Hygrocybe conica

Here's a baby Ballerina and a Blackening Waxcap, both photographed by Jan.

Hygrocybe reidii

Jan's photo of Honey Waxcaps

Cystoderma amianthinum

Saffron Parasols in the sunshine

Hygrocybe pratensis

Meadow Waxcap, common wherever waxcaps are found.

  Erodium cicutarium

A nice surprise was this Common Storksbill in flower on the cliff-top.

By the time we headed for the pub we had equalled last year's record total of 13 waxcap species, which was very satisfying in view of how things had looked at the start.  Here they are in approx order of frequency on the day.
Hygrocybe ceracea Butter Waxcap
Hygrocybe chlorophana Golden Waxcap
Hygrocybe pratensis Meadow Waxcap
Hygrocybe reidii Honey Waxcap
Hygrocybe virginea Snowy Waxcap
Hygrocybe coccinea Scarlet Waxcap
Hygrocybe conica Blackening Waxcap
Hygrocybe laeta Heath Waxcap
Hygrocybe punicea Crimson Waxcap
Hygrocybe psittacina Parrot Waxcap
Hygrocybe calyptriformis Ballerina Waxcap
Hygrocybe glutinipes Glutinous Waxcap
Hygrocybe irrigata Slimy Waxcap

We also found 3 grassland club fungi

Clavulinopsis fusiformis Golden Spindles
Clavulinopsis laeticolor Handsome Club
Clavulinopsis luteoalba Apricot Club

Arrhenia acerosa   Arrhenia acerosa

The most remarkable find of the day was this Moss Oysterling discovered by Cynthia growing on the moss on the ground.  I thought mushrooms of this shape always grew on wood, and the vast majority do, but this species is an exception   It's a new vice-county record.  Thanks to Liz Holden for helping with the ID.

Hillside, Ellenabeich

Waxcap Country!  Look closely and you can just make out three waxcap wanderers in Sallie's photo.

Coast, Ellenabeich

A great place to be on a windy day, providing the rain stays in the distance

Easdale from above Ellenabeich

Easdale in the mist

Hygrocybe, various species

  A medley of waxcaps collected by Jan, looking very tasty, pity they're not edible.

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All photos and other content copyright Carl Farmer except where stated.  Some photos on this page are Jan Hamilton or Sallie Jack.