... and the books says it's very common. Only the old brackets are this dark reddish brown on top; they start off a pale brown colour.
Growing nearby was this cheeky little streak of Sulphur Tuft Hypholoma fasciculare, taking advantage of a decaying willow branch.
UPDATE 3/2/2016 - A reader has been in touch to say he'd be willing to place a (very small) bet that this is really Velvet Shank Flammulina sp. Thank you Reader - I shall return for a closer look.
For the blob fans amongst you, we also found quite a bit of this:
But one feature (aside from it's relative shapeless and colourless-ness) jumped out at me: It's resupinate [i.e. the fruit body is lying flat against the branch it's growing on]. So I don't think it's one of the jelly things (Exidia sp.) that I've been seeing recently on willow and on birch.
There's something in Collin's Complete Guide that looks like it could be this: Peniophora quercina.
- Fruit body to 0.5 mm thick, fully resupinate forming irregular patches several centimetres in extent;
- Surface initially waxy or gelatinous with a smooth or slightly warty texture;
- dull blue or lilac when moist [um... not really] but drying bright pink or grey with a lilac tint [umm... maybe? does a slightly pinky-brown count?]
UPDATE 3/2/2016 - word on the Sussex Fungi Yahoo Group is that this is probably Exidia thuretiana. Apparently Peniophora species are usually rock-hard, whereas this looks more rubbery.
What is it they say... One out of three ain't bad?
For the record
Location: Woods Mill nature reserve
Grid reference: TQ217136