Wivenhoe Watching Wildlife: Autumn wildlife and fungus foray

edited September 2012 in Wivenhoe Wildlife
The idea of a fungi walk seems to be top of the request list from those who came to the Nottage do a week ago. Yesterday Judith and I did a walk around Wivenhoe Wood and saw a few bits and pieces, although nothing spectacular as yet. But we think a fungi-themed walk one weekend would be perfectly feasible (even though I am no expert! - so don't rely on my identifications if you like to eat them...):

October should be the best month. So if anyone is interested, keep the afternoon of Saturday 20 October free. We will look to do a couple of hours around the woods and nearby habitats, and hopefully find a range of fungi, at least assuming we haven't by then had any serious frosts. But even if the fungi don't show, it should be a good time to see some autumn woodland birds and perhaps a few late insects.

Full details nearer the time, but provisionally 14h00 at the public car park at the bottom of King George's Field. No need to book - just turn up with footwear appropriate to the preceding weather: the woods can get very muddy!

Chris and the WWW team


  • Magic...and I don't just mean mushrooms!  At least the fungi won't vanish just as you're trying the find/focus your binoculars. Can you guarantee a good panful of edible ones...?!!
  • Puffin- no no no.! No recommendations of edibility will be given - more that my job's (or your life's) worth Guv
  • There is/was a Forum member name of Alice, whose comments on the Magical Mushrooms thread (last year) seemed to betray considerable knowledge of the properties of fungi :)

    I wonder if she's still around and interested in taking part?
  • Think I'd rather have some tasty edible ones...maybe with some smoky bacon...?
  • A flavour of what is to come...? ;-)imageimageimage
  • Well spotted Glyn.It's always difficult to tell mushrooms just from photos but the first is probably a tawny grisette, if the second was on a birch tree or had fallen off it, it may be a razor strop fungus and I'd hazard a guess at the third being a mycena species 

    I'm afraid I'm busy on the 20th - I will try to come along for the first hour but I can't promise

  • edited October 2012
    As suggested above, by popular request WWW will hold an Autumn Ramble and Fungi walk on Saturday 20 October. If you are interested, meet us at 14h00 at the public car park at the bottom of King George's Field.

    No need to book - just turn up with  appropriate clothing and footwear - remember that Wivenhoe Wood can be very muddy even when it is dry! At the moment the forecast is sunny and pleasantly warm.

    We will walk for a couple of hours, through the wood and back along the trail - over the past couple of weeks quite a good range of fungi has appeared so there should be plenty to keep us entertained.

    As stated earlier, no recommendations on edibility will be given!

    Chris and the WWW team
  • Many thanks for sharing your knowledge Chris - now I know my Deceivers from my Shaggy Parasols.

    Fungi Hunt

    Fungi Hunt

    Fungi Hunt

    Fungi Hunt

    Fungi Hunt

    Fungi Hunt
  • edited October 2012

    Thanks to everyone who came along yesterday to forage (in a non-esculentary fashion!) for fungi in Wivenhoe Wood - and particularly to Alan and Lewis for their sterling efforts in ferreting out specimens from the deepest depths of the woods. We hope you all enjoyed it - we certainly did, and felt it was very successful, with 30+ species identified (listed below) and a whole range of unidentified little (and not-so-little) brown jobs.

    For the record, here are the english names of those we found (several of which are pictured above - thanks Jason,  and for the great write up on your blog):

    Amethyst deceiver, Artist's fungus, Bay polypore, Beefsteak fungus, Blackish-purple cheese-cap, Bramble rust, Branching oyster, Candlesnuff fungus, Chicken-of-the-woods, Clouded agaric, Common earth-ball, Deceiver, Destroying Angel (DEADLY - enough to kill half of the group!), Fairies' bonnets, Fairy-ring mushroom, Glistening ink-cap, Hairy stereum, Jew's ear, Maze gill, Orange bonnet,  Razor-strop fungus, Shaggy parasol, Smooth puffball, Spectacular rust-gill, Spiny puffball, Stinkhorn, Sulphur tuft, Sycamore tar spot, Tripe jelly fungus, Wood blewits, White Saddle

    Add to that as few other bits of interest, like the orange blobs of the slime-mould Lycogala terrestre,  and the lovely Silk-button galls beneath the leaves of oak.

    Now is a great time to get out and look at fungi, and until the first hard frosts at least new ones could appear every day.

    Chris, Greg, and Judith, the trug-bearer


  • edited October 2012
    Thanks to Chris for all the fascinating information he imparted yesterday!

    Here are some close-ups from yesterday - shot hand-held without flash so shallow depth of field.
  • edited October 2012
    And a couple more:
  • Adrian - fantastic pix. I feel the limited depth of field gives a really atmospheric touch to them, and draws the eye to the minute detail, like the sculpturing on the puffball. And as for the chestnut - a simply stunning image!


  • Please, what are the 5 fungi in Adrian's pics? I think I can guess the spiny puffball. The purple one is amazing.
  • From top to bottom

    Amethyst deceiver, very young specimen

    Silk button galls on oak (not a fungus, but caused by a wasp)

    Candlesnuff fungus

    Little Brown Job !

    Sweet chestnut fallen fruit


  • Thanks, Chris
  • Thanks Chris, and thanks for identifying them too! :)


  • I remembered there had been mention of slime mould somewhere before (above, by Chris) so I don't feel bad about posting this morning's picture of one I found on the salt marshes - even though this is a fungus thread!
    There are loads of them just now.
  • Thanks Marika

    It’s the Dog Sick Slime-mould Mucilago crustacea

     Although often treated as fungi, slime moulds are actually more ‘primitive’ things, more closely related to bacteria. They live most of the time as mobile single cells distributed in the soil, but then in response to some presumably environmental signal all move to the same place, and get it together to reproduce, and produce spores which can then disperse in the wind. Different species form breeding aggregations of different shapes, sizes and colours – this one happens to look like dog sick!

  • It's a good nick name because that's exactly what I thought it was when I walked past the first one!
  • When you get that 'primitive' in the tree of life, the concepts of 'animal' etc become pretty redundant. How they are actually classified is still open to debate, but some would treat slime moulds as a kingdom all of their own (the same taxonomic rank as plants, animals, fungi, bacteria etc), although loosely grouping them with other unicells like bacteria has some advocates.

    I would not expect them to be feeding/foraging significantly in the form shown by the photo. Feeding is done mainly in a completely dispersed state. When they get together they have things other than feeding on their 'minds'...!
  • Hmmm...don't think this one'll win any beauty contests...  ;)
  • It would have done if I had been capable of macrophotography like @Gribble :(
  • Sometimes, no matter how talented the photographer, you just can't make 'a silk purse out of a sow's ear'...  ;)
  • @Marika, You are too kind! I have been very busy, but you have motivated me to post some new shots to the macro thread. Hopefully they will show up soon. 
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