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Post Info TOPIC: Out-of-county (other wildlife)


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RE: Out-of-county (other wildlife)


Another late morning on Newchurch Common and despite it being overcast the warmth helped make it a good invert day.

The headline species was a patch lifer moth in the form of a well grown Scarlet Tiger caterpillar, found on nettles at the SW corner of Big Pool. This was, up until last year's glut of records, a Cheshire rarity and is well away from the county stronghold of the south Wirral.

Two new hoverflies for the year were Epistrophe eligans and White-footed Hoverfly (Platycheirus albimanus), both on the west side of Big Pool. A great number now of Helophilus pendulus in the same area.

A new beetle was on the main track between Big Pool and the former Leek Field, namely Oulema melanopus. At least 3 Alder Flies were seen by Big Pool, another new for year species. Green Dock Beetle and 14-spot Ladybird were recorded again whilst an estimated 120 7-Spot Ladybirds were seen including mating pairs. Two Common Green Sheldbugs were also by the main track, between the two pools.

A Gwynne's Mining Bee was a nice find, only the second this year here.

A new cranefly Tipula oleracea was west of Big Pool too, and NW of Big Pool another new fly for the year Eudasyphora cyanella was found.

A new spider was Linyphia hortensis whilst another 2 Nursery Web Spiders were seen.

Red Campion, Hawthorn and Garden Star-of-Bethlehem were all seen in flower for the first time, the latter is an invasive garden escape but a useful pollen plant.



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A late call in to my Newchurch Common Patch, expected sun but no, just overcast, still warm though.

A Common Lizard was seen basking and allowed approach for a phone photo!

An Orange-tip and a Green Hairstreak were photographed too as no sun meant they were less active.

New hoverflies were added to the yearlist, all on Shemmy Moss, Helophilus pendulus, Dasysyrphus albostriatus and Leucozona lucorum.

My first Tree Bumblebee was by the main track between the pools and my first Garden Bumblebee was on Shemmy Moss. Also seen were Red-tailed Bumblebee, Buff-tailed Bumblebee, White-tailed Bumblebee and Common Carder Bee. Lots of Orange-tailed Mining Bees were again seen as well as many Honeybees.

A new insect for me anywhere was a Brassica Shieldbug on Shemmy Moss, this is a species spreading NW from the SE so not common. Also seen was Hawthorn Shieldbug, my first of 2024. In the dandelions hordes of tiny beetles were seen and bit of detective work IDs them as Pollen Beetles, probably Meligethes atratus.

A new fungus Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) was found on a fallen birch in Gull Pool Wood. White Dead Nettle was recorded for the first time this year.



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Friday 12th of April 2024 10:37:10 PM

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On Newchurch Common am, hot and sunny.

At least 3 Common Lizards were on Shemmy Moss with one seen basking. A large Common Toad was in Gull Pool Wood.

It was the best butterfly day of 2024 with six species seen. A rough estimate of 24 Green Hairstreaks was made, with a mating pair even seen. My first patch Small Tortoiseshell and Small White of the year were on Shemmy Moss. Also a first were 3(2m) Orange-tips, all on Shemmy Moss. A good count of 6(4m) Brimstones was made as well as 3 Peacocks.

On Shemmy Moss 12 Common Heath Moths were seen.

Predictably in the sunshine the first 3 Green Tiger Beetles were found on Shemmy Moss. A Thistle Tortoise Beetle on Shemmy Moss was a nice addition for the year.

On Sandy Lane Grey-patched Mining Bee and Orange-tailed Mining Bee were again seen.

The first Nursery Web Spider of the year was at the SW corner of Big Pool. Syrphus ribesii hoverflies were again seen. The first Green Lacewing Chrysoperla carnea was found on my new car at the parking area.

On Shemmy Moss Spanish Bluebells were present whilst re-examination of the Bluebells by Big Pool makes me think that they are more likely to be Native Bluebells rather than hybrids! Wood Forget-me-Not was seen in flower by the main track.

On Shemmy Moss 3 Mountain Brownie mushrooms were found, a minute fungus that's a mossland specialist.



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On Newchurch Common today found a few trees of our only native Maple - Field Maple. This has edible seeds so another to try in my foraging repertoire later in the year wink



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Another morning jaunt around Newcghurch Common, not much bird-wise but lots of 'other stuff'! Overcast, occasional sun and mild.

Bees headlined today with four mining bee species and one of their parasite bees too. A stunning Tawny Mining Bee (Andrena fulva) was on Shemmy Moss. A Grey Patched Mining Bee (Andrena nitida) was by the SW corner of Big Pool. An Orange-tailed Mining Bee (Andrena haemorrhoa) was by the path on the W.side of Big Pool. Finally a Painted Mining Bee (Andrena fucata) was by the main track between the two main pools. NEar the SW corner of Big Pool the parasitic Flavous Nomad Bee (Nomada flava) was seen. Two Common Carder Bees were on the W.side of Big Pool too.

A new hoverfly for the year was Syrphus ribesii on Shemmy Moss. Another new hover was a Marmalade Fly (Episyrphus balteatus) W.of Big Pool.  Lots of Melanostoma scalare and Tapered Dronefly hoverflies were again seen. Several Bibio lanigerus flies were again seen.

As well as bees it was a leaf-beetle day. My first Alder Leaf Beetles were by the track between the pools and a Green Dock Beetle was at the SW corner of Big Pool. Other leaf beetles were all ladybirds. New for the year was 14-spot Ladybird in the SW corner of Big Pool again, followed by my first Harlequin Ladybird on Shemmy Moss. 7-spot Ladybirds were seen in huge numbers.

A Kentish Snail on Shemmy Moss was new for 2024 too.

Plants in flower included, by Big Pool Bluebells (almost certainly Spanish/Native hybrids), by Shemmy Moss Common Field-speedwell, and, by Big Pool Green Alkanet. Purplepore Bracket Fungus (Gull Pool Wood) and St.George's Mushrooms (by Big Pool) were seen again.



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Tuesday 9th of April 2024 09:11:32 AM

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Morning stroll around Big Pool, Newchurch Common. Dry, mild but windy.

A new hymenopteran added with a lone Gwynne's Mining Bee found on a dandelion near the Pine Belt. Repeat sightings with at least 20 Melanostoma scalare hoverflies too, all on dandelions too, and 7-Spot Ladybird seen too. All on a less than 'hot' day which looked unpromising for invertebrates.

Loads of Ground Elder around, an edible but I've heard mixed reviews about it! Must try!



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On Newchurch am, dull, not too warm but with the occasional bit of sun.

Given the weather I was amazed to have 2 Green Hairstreaks flying today

I added Red Dead-nettle for the flowering plant list this year.



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A morning walk on the 'Newchurch Patch Mosslands' with two photographer friends looking for the Green Hairstreaks.

They didn't disappoint with a count of 10 Green Hairstreaks in one small area of Shemmy Moss. They also performed beautifully for photographs. Also seen were a Comma and a male Brimstone.

An Early Bumblebee was seen as well as 2 Buff-tailed Bumblebees and 2 Common Carder Bees. There were hundreds of Tapered Droneflies and 1 confirmed Common Dronefly!



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Two walks on Newchurch Common in the sun today.

Again a Common Lizard was basking in the sun.

Even better was the  first 2 Green Hairstreaks of the year, a really early record for the UK never mind Cheshire! Also seen my first patch male Brimstone and another 2 Peacocks.

The first queen White-tailed Bumblebee was seen, on Shemmy Moss. Also seen were my first Clarke's Mining Bees and attendant parasite Early Nomad Bee by Small Pool. Bare-saddled Blood Bee (Sphecodes ephippius) was seen on Dandelions by Shemmy Moss.

The fly Bibio lanigerus was photographed by Shemmy Moss.



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Another Newchurch Common walk, in the afternoon today.

The 2 Common Lizards were still on Shemmy Moss and 2 Smooth Newts were nearby on the edge of the moss.

A Melanostoma scalare hoverfly was by the Whitegate Way near Small Pool. A Devil's Coach-horse Beetle was at the edge of Shemmy Moss.

At least 3 White-legged Snake Millipedes were by the edge of Shemmy Moss where 3 Polydesmus angustus millipedes were also seen. A Red Slug, Arion rufus was in the same area.

Wood Sorrel was by Small Pool but not yet in flower. In flower were Red Campion by Small Pool and Herb Robert by Shemmy Moss.

 

Tonight in our Moulton Garden the Hedgehog was seen for the first time this year.



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Friday 29th of March 2024 10:15:54 PM

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A morning pop onto Newchurch Common, sunny and warm in places.

An amazing record of 2 Common Lizards basking on Shemmy Moss, my first March record on my patch. Also seen was a Great Crested Newt, on the edge of Shemmy Moss, and in the same area a new and huge patch of Common Frog Spawn, much of which had hatched into tadpoles.

A Polydesmus angustus Millipede was under a log near the Whitegate Way on the edge of Shemmy Moss.

A Garden Snail was logged for the first time this year.

St George's Mushooms were seen at a traditional site, but again much earlier this year. A new patch fungus Purplepore Bracket (Trichaptum abietinum) was on a fallen conifer in Gull Pool Wood. Wolf's Milk Slime Mould was on a fallen silver birch by Small Pool on the Whitegate Way.

Lots of Yellow Archangel is in flower in a damp area opposite Gull Pool Bench by the Whitegate Way.



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An afternoon visit to Newchurch Common to catch the last of the sun and hopefully the highest air temperature!

A single Peacock butterfly was seen again, in the meadow by Big Pool Island Cut.

My first of a couple of bee species were seen, first 2 Queen Red-tailed Bumblebees and then a Queen Common Carder Bumblebee. There were at least 8 Queen Buff-tailed Bumblebees too.

A minimum count of 200 Tapered Droneflies was estimated. The sawfly Aglaostigma aucupariae was see at the NE corner of Big Pool.



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Burton Mere/Inner Marsh Farm 24/03/24

First reptiles of the year for us yesterday, 2 Common Lizards on logs beside the path.

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A morning visit to Newchurch Common in the sun produced one new species for the year, a lone Clarke's Mining Bee on Shemmy Moss.



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A good afternoon visit to Newchurch Common, warm and sunny.

There were still over 20 Toads in Big Pool at Island Cut with now even more Toadspawn (picture attached is all underwater and looking through the lakes surface!).

I found another 2 Peacock butterflies and this time managed to photograph one, a really tatty individual too. A new butterfly was a single Comma near Big Pool Island Cut, where the Peacocks were too.

My first queen Buff-tailed Bumblebee was in the meadow near Big Pool Island Cut as was a Common Dronefly (Eristalis tenax), my first after three-figure numbers of Tapered Droneflies, which were still in similar numbers today. Incidentally queen Buff-tailed Bumblebee is the only reliable caste that can be separated from White-tailed Bumblebee unless very fine detail is examined, drones and workers are virtually indistinguishable.

 



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Tuesday 19th of March 2024 09:20:28 PM

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All day on Newchurch Common today, am and pm with a break for lunch. Sunny most of the time and warm. Clouded over late afternoon.

A couple of Rabbits were seen and I don't know if I've officially recorded them this year!!

In Big Pool Island Cut a veritable orgy of at least 30 Toads were in the water, and many in amplexus. As a result there were numerous jewelled strings of Toadspawn in the underwater vegetation, so beautiful.

At last I had my first patch butterfly, a Peacock, which I flushed near Beach Peg and it flew off so no picture for me!

Also my first bumblebee which fittingly was Early Bumblebee, visiting gorse flowers north of Big Pool. Again lots, probably upwards of 25 Honeybees. Even more hoverflies, with a rough guesstimate of 120 Tapered Droneflies seen. A Yellow Dungfly was also seen.

A tiny patch of 3 Deceiver mushrooms (Laccaria laccata) were found near Big Pool.



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On Newchurch Common.

First Common Toad of the year, a large one too,crossing a patch near Small Pool. Found my second mass of frogspawn too, over on Shemmy Moss.

Honey Bees were out on the gorse flowers again.



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On Newchurch Common this morning.

There were 2 Stigmella aurella moth leafines on bramble fresh with the larva still inside them. This was a new record for my patch.

Green Alkanet was seen in flower for the first time this year.

A Witch's Broom (abnormal growth caused by a fungus) was found at low level and photographed.

 



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Thursday 14th of March 2024 04:42:21 PM

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An afternoon walk on my Newchurch Common Patch produced my first Frogspawn of the year, whist not far away from that was my first Common Frog too!! A double whammy so to speak! Still overcast so no flying inverts.



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On Newchurch Common in the hope of more invertebrates, overcast with a tiny bit of sun.

Near Big Pool another 5 Tapered Droneflies were found along with a single 7-spot Ladybird.



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The sunshine had to eventually produce my first local patch invertebrates and so it was today at Newchurch Common.

Up to 4 Honey Bees were on the gorse flowers in the meadows north of Big Pool. Just to the east of Big Pool a Tapered Dronefly (Eristalis pertinax) was seen sunning itself on brambles.  On Gorse north of Big Pool and on Shemmy Moss the very first invert species of the year were 2 x 7-Spot Ladybirds.



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A morning walk on my Newchurch Patch.

A quick check of a lone Common Rustgill fungus that I first discovered as a weeny one revealed it to be in its last throes with lots of slug damage. In fact the culprits were still on it feeding, 2 young Leopard Slugs, a new species for patch for 2024!



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On Newchurch Common today I had a new fungus for the year, Crystal Brain fungus (Exidia nucleata). The Blackthorn was also in flower across the site.



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Penketh
First Frog Spawn of the year in our garden pond yesterday

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At Newchurch Common this morning I recorded my first Lesser Celandine in flower, spring is here wink

On the extreme western patch boundary I discovered a carpet of over 150 Scarlet Elf Cups, the woodland floor was bejewelled with their red fruiting bodies.



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Saturday 17th of February 2024 04:50:08 PM

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Morning at Newchurch Common again.

A nice 'clump' of Velvet Shank fungi (Flammulina velutipes) were found. Otherwise the same species as usual.



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A morning at Newchurch Common with fungi the main focus.

But first, a muddy path that was full of human boot prints and dog paw prints had my attention drawn immediately to a faint print with forward facing claws that I suspected to be Badger. On examination of my photo at home blown up on the pc my suspicions were confirmed, it certainly was a Badger print.

A new fungus for patch was Smoky Bracket (Bjerkandera adusta). My previous re-ID was confirmed as the young Common Rustgill has now matured and confirmed it to be that species with the diagnostic 'rusty gills'!! A cracking Turkey Tail fungus was also photographed and more new Scarlet Elfcups were found.

Small race (resembling 'wild') Daffodils are in flower east of Small Pool and several clumps of Snowdrops were found in flower too.



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Thursday 15th of February 2024 10:33:59 PM

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Norton Marsh viewed from Owens Wood on the big tide submerging the Marsh yesterday. Four moles, one Bank Vole and on Brown Rat escaping the floods, earlier two Seals (sp unidentified) were seen going with the tide up the Mersey.



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An afternoon walk on Newchurch Common in the sun.

A trio of fungi were photographed, a new one for patch was Silverleaf Fungus (Chondrostereum purpureum), and a new one for 2024 was Velvet Shank, a very young one on a dead gorse branch. There were lots of Witch's Butter Fungi (Tremella mesenterica) on the gorse too.

Grey Squirrels were seen scaling trees with mouthfuls of dead leaves, drey building in preparation for the upcoming breeding season!



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A nip on this am to Newchurch Common to see a patch lifer fungus found by fellow patcher Dave yesterday.

Saw the cluster of Jelly Ear fungus by the main track near Small Pool above the largest patch of Scarlet Elf Cups so far this winter. Hairy Curtain Crust also photographed.



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Doc Brewster wrote:

On my walk at Newchurch Common today I recorded Conifer Tuft fungus (Hypholoma capnoides) on a fallen conifer and a nice patch of Snowdrops on Shemmy Moss, my first flowers of the year!


 Strike out Conifer Tuft and replace with Common Rustgill (Gymnopilus sapineus)!!



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On my walk at Newchurch Common today I recorded Conifer Tuft fungus (Hypholoma capnoides) on a fallen conifer and a nice patch of Snowdrops on Shemmy Moss, my first flowers of the year!



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Saturday morning at Newchurch Common, and just 2two fungi of note, Root Rot (Heterobasidion annosum) and one Scarlet Elf Cup (Sarcoscypha austriaca), both in the woods near Big Pool Island Cut.



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A morning in the sun at Newchurch Common.

A Badger Latrine was found with signs of heavy use last night, must have been curry night

A mass of unidentifiable beetle larvae were under a log in one of the woodlands.

On dungheaps in a farmers field were lots of Haresfoot Inkcaps (Coprinopsis lagopus) in various stages of deliquescence.



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An afternoon walk at Newchurch Common produced an excellent fungus find in the shape of a small group of tiny Scarlet Elfcups (to be accurate they should be termed Scarlet/Ruby Elfcups as the two species can only be separated by microscopic examination, but most observers lump them into 'Scarlet Elfcup') by Small Pool, my first on patch for several years. Also in the woods nearby were several groups of Common Puffballs, all having sent out their spores long ago. Finally, and again in the same wood, the Birch Woodwart fungus was found, predictably on fallen birch!



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Bank Vole at the Lapwing Lane hide (Moore NR) on the food left out to the south of the hide.



-- Edited by Andy Slee on Sunday 21st of January 2024 09:15:20 PM

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Dog Fox wandering about on the frozen Pumphouse Pool at Moore NR this morning - looked almost Wolverine in monochrome colours produced by the heavy fog mist.



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Doc Brewster wrote:

In Gull Pool Wood today on pine needle litter a lone Common Rustgill fungus was found. A Stoat was seen again where I had the two on Dec 26th but unfortunately not by me. It is good to know that this is obviously a territory and future sightings are probable.


 The mushroom found on Jan 12th has subsequently been re-identified as Coral Brittlegill (Russula velenovskyi) of a more atypical colour form!



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In Gull Pool Wood today on pine needle litter a lone Common Rustgill fungus was found. A Stoat was seen again where I had the two on Dec 26th but unfortunately not by me. It is good to know that this is obviously a territory and future sightings are probable.



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At Newchurch Common Glistening Inkcap fungus was seen near Small Pool whilst photographing the Smew :)



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Mink at Moore NR Eastern Reedbed.



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A bit out of season at Newchurch Common were a new troop of Scurfy Twiglet (Turbaria furfuracea) fungi on dead twigs to the north of Big Pool today.



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I started the New Year in the sunshine on my Newchurch Common Local Patch and non-bird sightings were much the same as those the end of December.

Lost of Grey Squirrels were seen, but no other mammals.

Fungi included White Saddle and Oyster Mushroom in Gull Pool Wood. Also seen were Candlesnuff Fungus, Common Earthball, Birch Polypore, Blushing Bracket, and Hairy Curtain Crust. One nice new find was the tiny delicate Ivory Bonnet near West Bay, Big Pool.



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Went to Newchurch Common again am, dry and cold at first, milder later.

Near Gull Pool 4 Smooth Newts were under logs. Also under a log was a Nebria brevicollis ground beetle.

A small group of Glistening Inkcap fungi were on a bank by the former Leek Field.



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In a long morning walk at Newchurch Common the undoubted highlight was a sighting of 2 Stoats, a large adult first ran across the main track just 30m inside the barriers. This was followed by a smaller, young Stoat that showed fantastically well in the same area. I had a spectacular growth of Oyster Mushrooms in one of the woodlands, my second record of the species ever and by far the biggest 'clump'!



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Tuesday 26th of December 2023 04:50:38 PM

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Today at Newchurch Common was proof that it's never too late in the year to add a new species. I found my first White Saddle Fungus for 4 years in the woods south of Big Pool.



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A walk in quite warm sunshine this morning on Newchurch Common.

Had a Smooth Newt in Gull Pool Wood whilst fungi hunting.

There were 2 Common Darters on Shemmy Moss, but I did have a later record last year so still more time for them if the weather allows!

Otherwise it was all fungi. These included Glistening Inkcap, Birch Polypore, Deceiver, Scurfy Deceiver, Clouded Funnel, Wrinkled Club, Jelly Rot, Sulphur Tuft, Shaggy Scalycap, Blushing Bracket, Hoof Fungus, Hairy Curtain CrustVariable Oysterling, Meadow Bonnet, Angel's BonnetButter Waxcap and Snowy Waxcap.

 



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Saturday 18th of November 2023 04:43:04 PM

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Early November unsurprisingly dominated by fungi at Newchurch Common.

A new waxcap species for 2023 was found at 'Waxcap Corner', in the shape of a small number of Parrot Waxcaps. Also here were still Blackening Waxcaps, Butter Waxcaps and an increase in Snowy Waxcaps (waxcap montage picture attached). After never having seen a waxcap species ever 3 years ago now to have 4 species on my local patch is brilliant. Other nice fungi photographed this week were Variable Oysterling, Clouded Funnel, Wrinkled Club and Deceiver, all in the Big Pool area.

For those interested in other wildlife I have just posted a Blog on the Focalpoint website about my orthopteran summer! That is the Crickets and Grasshoppers of Newchurch Common (with one from my garden sneaked in due to its rarity value!), please take a look if you fancy a read with piccies! It is at:

https://www.focalpointopticsltd.com/post/owzat-cricket-lovely-cricket

 



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Sunday 12th of November 2023 10:53:08 AM

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Late flying Red Admiral at Poynton Pool



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A morning walk on a cold and damp Newchurch Common.

A plant was IDed as well as many fungi, the plant in question being Gypsywort which has many medicinal properties but could be dangerous to use too!

All of our walk was around Big Pool and some cracking species were found. Three species of waxcap were seen with the first two being new this year, namely Snowy Waxcap and Butter Waxcap, with Blackening Waxcap still being seen. Also new for the year were Clouded Funnel (Clitocybe nebularis), Blushing Wood Mushroom (Agaricus silvaticus), Wrinkled Club (Clavulina rugosa), Inocybe splendens, Delicatula integrella, Brown Roll Rim (Paxillus involutus), Cortinarius umbrinolens, Ivory Bonnet (Mycena flavoalba), White Brain Fungus (Exidia thuretiana), and Turf Bell (Galerina graminea). A couple of fungi could only be IDed down to Entoloma sp.

Ones seen before but photographed were Angel's Bonnet, Scurfy Twiglet, Candlesnuff Fungus, Earthy Powdercap, Tawny Funnel, and White Domecap.



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