Sunday, 23 October 2016

Hare's Ear

My fungus-packed weekend started early with a trip to Sussex Wildlife Trust's Ebernoe Common nature reserve on Friday. Michael was leading a walk there, so I thought I'd tag along, and we had the pleasure of bumping into Mark Colvin, a Sussex naturalist and photographer who's also been getting into fungi.

We saw loads! There's so much (so many?) fungi at Ebernoe at the moment. But with a fairly large group, there wasn't time to stop and get photographs.

I was pleased to encounter Horn of Plenty Craterellus cornucopioides for the first time, at the right hand side of the path as you turn right past the cattle grid, along with an impressive population of Beech Jellydisc Neobulgaria pura.

I was also impressed by the Magpie Inkcap Coprinopsis picacea, another species I haven't seen before, and managed to get a quick snap.

Magpie Inkcap Coprinopsis picacea

Mark has captured some wonderful photos of these mushrooms, here:

But the highlight for me was finding this patch of Hare's Ear Otidea onotica, nestled amongst the leaf litter under the trees. Mark stopped to get some super photographs, which he's kindly allowed me to share here:

Nick Aplin of Sussex Fungus Group has since confirmed our identification.

Back at Ebernoe church, we stopped for a look at the Scarlet Caterpillar Club Cordyceps militaris, a fascinating species which Graeme Lyons once famously described as looking like a spicy Nik-Nak.

If you're visiting this site to admire the fungi, PLEASE tread carefully and leave the fungi to do their thing. We saw a few fruiting bodies which had been picked and discarded around the churchyard and near the car park, which is very disappointing.

Ebernoe Common is an internationally important site which is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area for Conservation (SAC) under the Habitats Directive. That means it's illegal to knowingly damage or remove living material, unless you have specific permission to take away specimens for survey purposes.

For the record
Date: 21 October 2016
Location: Ebernoe Common
Grid ref (for O. onotica): SU976273 (or thereabouts)
Entered into FRDBI: 12/02/2017

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