Hoe Wood is an old hazel copse so I briefed the group to keep an eye out for Spring Hazelcup Encoelia furfuracea which I've found in other fragments of hazel coppice nearby. But we didn't find any.
However, it wasn't long before Sue from the Membership Department found me ANOTHER jelly fungus to add to my list.
Exidia plana, as it's growing in these bigger, round-ish blobs. I think that makes it the famous Witches' Butter Exidia glandulosa (although the common name is confusing because it is also sometimes used to refer to Yellow Brain Tremella mesenterica, which is a similar shape but bright yellow - and a completely different species).
Nearby, Ian from the Conservation Department turned up a colourless, rubbery fungus which looks very similar to one I found growing on old wet Willow at Woods Mill. So I think this is another example of Exidia thuretiana.
There is a key to British Exidia (here) which lists seven species. With the addition of E. glandulosa, I reckon I've found five since Boxing Day, which isn't bad going. Two left to go for a full house!
It wasn't all jellies. We also found some great examples of Glue Crust Hymenochaete corrugata. So called because this crust fungus has an ability to glue twigs together - apparently enabling individuals of this species to traverse the canopies of coppice-grown hazel. Like some endless fungal version of that pass the balloon party game.
Another nice thing we saw were these tiny pink things busting through Hazel bark:
yesterday that Beech Woodwart Hypoxylon fragiforme starts out its life PINK, my guess would be that this is a young Woodwart, Hypoxylon sp., growing on Hazel. I'd be tempted to call it Hazel Woodwart Hypoxylon fuscum but this article from the Field Mycology journal on the British Mycological Society website suggests that identifying Woodwarts isn't quite as simple as I might like it to be.
UPDATE 17/02/16 Nick Aplin has advised that the pink things on Hazel are the anamorph (i.e. one particular life stage) of a Nectria-like species.
Other species we saw included Hairy Curtain Crust Stereum hirsutum and something that looked very like the Bitter Oysterling Panellus stipticus that I found at Woods Mill (and hoped would glow in the dark - but it didn't).
For the record
Location: Hoe Wood, Small Dole [private site]
Grid reference: TQ2113
Entered into FRDBI: 13/02/2017