Small Copper butterfly etc

9/10/15 – I had just climbed over the stile on the 1066 Path, Sprays Bridge towards the A21 when I saw what I believe is a Small Copper butterfly. While waiting for the butterfly to open its wings I noticed lots of activity in the hedgerow. It was Willow Warblers darting out to catch flies.
In the field beyond the footbridge a Buzzard was circling overhead. Through the binoculars I could see small birds flying much higher than the Buzzard. These were House Martins. It was difficult to estimate the number but there were at least a dozen birds.
I also found a solitary Parasol Mushroom.
Apologies to Libby for the late posting due to being away for 2 weeks in the wilds of South Africa with no internet access! We think those warblers are much more likely to be Chiffchaffs in October, as virtually all Willow Warblers leave the country by the end of September.


14/06/2015  Our garden in New Moorsite has been full of fledglings over the last few days with Blue and Great tits, Nuthatch, Goldfinch, Blackbirds, Starlings and Chaffinch. They all seem to like the bird bath, so we are having to keep it topped up daily. It also looks like the Blackbirds have another brood.

Terry Howard

Apologies to Terry for late posting

Fungi identification UPDATE

Having struggled to work out what the two types of large brown toadstool growing in the churchyard were (see November sunshine posting), I went back to check the colour of the gills underneath.  The taller one had white gills which makes it likely to be the Butter Cap Rhodocollybia butyracea, but the other had pale brown gills which, combined with the slippery feel and the flat cap makes it one of the Milk Caps. From the colour and size, and the short stalk it is must surely be the Ugly Milk Cap Lactarius turpis which is quite a common species.  IMG_3737_1 IMG_3731_1 IMG_3709 IMG_3706aThe first two photos were taken with flash and show the true colour of the Ugly Milk Cap much more clearly than in the original photo below them that was taken in poor light. The middle one of the three in a group is the one I removed to photograph again using flash.  The fourth photo is the Butter Cap again, with the white gills clearly showing through where the slugs have had a nibble (click to enlarge)!


Dogs’ teeth on the lawn!

These fungi ? have appeared in our front lawn. Never seen anything like them before. They look like dogs’ teeth!!  Ron in Greenacres 
2013 220 White Spindles fungus Ron 12Nov2013 2013 221
We think this is the ‘White Spindles’ fungus Clavaria fragilis, see here  We like your name ‘Dog’s Teeth’ better Ron!
Ralph — Dave

November sunshine

Yesterday (10/11/2013) the sun shone all day after yet more rain, and brought out this Red Admiral to feed and sunbathe in the garden.


Meanwhile in the churchyard, a large ring of Fly Agaric toadstools was putting on a colourful display in the late afternoon sunlight, along with two rather more sombre toadstools that Dave and I are having difficulty identifying! I have therefore forwarded the photos to 2 fungi friends, and will add an update here once we know what species they are.

Finally I found the diminutive Field Woundwort Stachys arvensis still flowering in the doctor’s surgery garden. This is an annual ‘weed’ of arable field edges, gardens, and allotments that seems to be rather uncommon these days in Westfield at least. I hope it will continue its existence in the surgery garden as I have never managed to find it anywhere else. If anyone knows of another place where it grows please do leave us a comment below. Thank you.


Field Woundwort, Westfield, RH, 10 Oct 2013

Field Woundwort, Westfield, RH, 10 Oct 2013

Honey Fungus?

Some fungi photos – the Amanita was in Cottage Lane. The other fungi are growing at the root of a dead maple tree in my garden.  Would like to know what they are – are they responsible for killing the tree?  Phil Tomlinson
The red Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria) is quite unmistakable, but correctly identifying similar looking fungi in the field can be real a challenge.  And from photos it can be almost impossible!   Having said that, I showed your photos to someone better at fungi than I, and we think from the shape, size, and colour that these brown ones are all honey fungus – Armillaria mellea.  In which case, yes they are most probably responsible for the death of your maple.  Honey fungus is very common and can grow on living trees as well as on dead and decaying woody material.  If you can find the associated dark looking ‘boot-laces’ which are the underground parts of this fungus (technically called rhizomporphs) behind the bark or in the soil, or you find white fungal material under the bark, this would confirm its identification.   Useful information on how best to deal with the problem in a garden situation can be found on this RHS web page  It is not easy, and involves digging! Good luck, Ralph

More Fungi

Some more photos of Fungi that I have seen in Churchfields recently.  I believe them to be Peppery Milkcap [Lactarius piperatus].   Dave Pankhurst


At this time of year many types of fungi will be growing.  Have a look at some photos I took of Fly Agaric [Amanita muscaria] in the churchyard.  This mushoom is poisonous and should not be eaten – the red colour of its cap has always been taken as a poison warning!  If you have any photos of any fungi you have seen please submit to WW.  Many thanks,  Dave

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