19th March 2016
The second Norfolk Fungus Study Group foray of the year was held at the slightly unusual venue of Lenwade Dinosaur Adventure Park. One of the group members works at the park, and in the past there have been several wildlife-related events held there, including an autumn fungus foray, so we had been invited to survey the woodland areas for spring fungi.
Having been signed in we headed back down the entrance track to have a look at some of the woodland edge. Dog's Mercury was flowering and looked healthy. With a mycologists hat on it would have been better with Dog's Mercury Rust on! The first few fungi were common ones that you would expect to find in any woodland, such as Turkeytail, Hazel Woodwart, Bracken Map, Cramp Balls and Jelly Ear. The most interesting species found was a large mass of jelly that was identified as Leafy Brain fungus (Tremella foliacea).
Having exhausted this area we headed into the park proper, adding the beginnings of a fungal plant disease called Rhododendron Bud Blast, that turns the buds blackish. Heading along the dinosaur trail we saw our first gilled fungus of the day, a tiny white Mycena sp. growing from a dead Oak leaf. Some Glistening Ink Caps were also of note. Whilst walking around this area I heard a Nuthatch calling, and there were some patches of Wild Garlic, although much too early for flowers yet.
After stopping for a drink at the picnic area we briefly checked around the animal enclosures, where a Winter Polypore was growing on one of the logs on a wood pile. We then headed up into a private bit of woodland, which proved particularly fruitful. An interesting looking plant with Comfrey-like flowers turned out to be Creeping Comfrey, a garden plant that seems to have naturalised in part of the wood.
A pile of cut logs turned up several interesting species. Several Artist's Brackets had been galled by the Yellow Flat-footed Fly - I had never seen this before 2016, but have now seen it on both NFSG forays so far. A tiny white cup fungus and an Eyelash fungus were both unidentifiable in the field, whilst an interesting crust fungus appears to be Serpula himantioides. In total we saw over 30 species, possibly as many as 40 if some of the smaller ones can be determined, so a worthwhile exercise and a few new records for the park. As we returned to the main square I heard some croaking noises. Walking over to a nearby pond I saw my first spawning frogs of the year, complete with noisy males! As the drizzle returned I left the frogs to it and headed home.
Galls on the underside of Artist's Bracket