Despite the weather being dry for the past week I was hopeful to find some Fungi during my morning wander around Dibbinsdale. A mixture of common species to begin with Candlesnuff Fungus Xylaria hypoxylon, Porcelain Fungus Oudemansiella mucida, Clustered Bonnet Mycena inclinata, Common Bonnet Mycena galericulata, Many-zoned Polypore Coriolis (Trametes) versicolor, Jelly Rot Phlebia tremellosa, Root Rot Heterobasidion annosum, Coral Spot Fungus Nectria cinnabarina and an unidentified white encrusting fungi.
A nice group of Sheathed Woodtuft Kuehneromyces mutabilis were growing on a mossy Birch log, the scaly looking stipe darker below the raggedy ring. Following the path around the base of the sandstone cliff I found five Scaly Earthballs Scleroderma verrucosum on a bed of Liverwort and had a scramble to photograph a cluster of poisonous Shaggy Scalycap Pholiota squarrosa growing at the base of a Beech Tree.
Close to the Ranger’s Office at Woodslee Cottages I found Upright Coral Ramaria stricta and a lonesome Collared Earthstar Geastrum triplex. Passing Woodslee Pond and returning through the wood to the cliff viewpoint I had a group of Cup fungi Peziza sp. growing at the base of a Birch Tree.
Green Shield Bugs Palomena prasina were sunning themselves on the Bramble leaves at the edge of Bodens Hay Meadow with four adult and 14 nymphs counted. There were also 3 adult Red-legged Shieldbugs Pentatoma rufipes that were camera shy and hid under leaves when I approached.
Green Shieldbug nymphs
The umbellifers were over so not much in the way of Hoverflies except a lone Heliophilus pendulus. Plants still flowering included Himalayan Balsam Impatiens glandulifera, Hedge Bindweed Calystegia sepium, Water Forget-me-not Myosotis scorpioides, Hedge Woundwort Stachys sylvatica, Water Mint Mentha aquatica and Common Ragwort Senecio jacobaea.
I had a yaffling Green Woodpecker as well as a drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker. A Buzzard was trying its best to imitate a Sparrowhawk flying after a Great Tit through the trees – lacking the Sparrowhawk’s manoeuvrability the Great Tit escaped.
If you are interested in the wildlife of the north-west of England and would like to join the walks and coach trips run by the Merseyside Naturalists’ Association, see the main MNA website for details of our programme and how to join us.