30 December 2014
LNHG Ganavan field trip
Then we made our way through the woods to see what they
had in the way of lichens and winter fungi.
I was hoping this would be our first record of Vuilleminia coryli, which
is very similar to the more well-known V comedens but grows on Hazel. As
V comedens can also grow on Hazel, it was necessary to hunt for cystidia
under the microscope in order to prove that it was V coryli. I
found a couple of possible cystidia but wasn't experienced enough to be
sure that's what they were, but have kept a piece to look at again some time
in the future. Vuilleminia are
pinkish-grey waxy fungi that grow under the bark and then make the bark
peel away to expose the fungus so it can release its spores.
Cynthia found this striking purple fungus on an old
Birch. It had encrusting fruitbodies, as on the left, and others
that formed brackets, as on the right. Its name is Chondrostereum purpureum
and it causes Silver Leaf disease when it's on fruit trees.
Apart from the colour it is very similar to Stereum species such as S
hirsutum, and was formerly placed in that genus, but it is now known to
belong to the same order as mushrooms such as Fly Agaric whereas Stereum
belongs with the Russulas. An example of convergent evolution.
It's the time of year for Yellow Brain Fungus and our
first sight of it was on Birch (left), which is rather unusual.
The fine cluster on the right was on Gorse, its normal host.
The sun shone as we took a different route back to the car park across open country. This old building had 7 Rock Doves (or Domestic Pigeons if you will) living in its roof space, and these tufts of Polypody hanging from its gutter.
Back at the car park we had another look for seabirds and saw 4 Red-breasted Mergansers offshore and a couple of Rock Pipits on the beach.
Not a great day for birds but we did hear a Great tit in full song, a cheery sign of spring.
Other fungi seen included Mycena filopes, Hemimycena tortuosa, Exidia recisa (Willow Jelly Button) and Auricularia auricula-judae (Jew's Ear).