Field Event Reports

4 January 2015: Standlake Common Nature Reserve

Leader: David Guyoncourt 

It was a rather raw, foggy morning as we gathered near the Black Horse pub at Standlake - clearly a day for wellington boots and being well wrapped up. We set off down Shillford Lane and then on to the path between two lakes, albeit invisible to us, beside a ditch with mixed bushes and small trees all quite damp with the fog. Not an ideal morning for binoculars, but rather good for fungi – even if most of them were frozen solid. So this part of the field trip turned into a fungal foray with Turkey Tail, Jelly Ear and many more on the dead branches, until we reached the first hide on the North side of the Nature Reserve lake. There were quite a lot of wild fowl on the lake, mostly ducks, Wigeon and Mallard especially with the occasional group of Greylags flying over noisily. The ducks kept just at that distance which made identification a little difficult with binoculars in the mist. However there were one or two star performers, particularly a Goldeneye very busily diving right in front of us, and a Great Crested Grebe, equally busy. Then we moved on to the hide on the East side, which is somewhat more roomy, from which we gradually added to our tally of identifications. Eventually, the cold started to penetrate more deeply through our wellingtons and it was time to head for home. One or two had glimpsed a Goldcrest earlier, but on the way back another was very occupied in a Backthorn right beside the path and quite oblivious to us all watching it and trying to photograph it. This made the day for at least one of us. So it was a most enjoyable trip out for the all-weather Abnaters, and we were most grateful to David for leading us and identifying all the fungi we spotted.

Fungi:
Yellow Brain (Tramella mesenterica), White Brain (Exidia thuretiana), Jelly Ear (Auricularia auricula-judae), Turkeytail (Trametes versicolor), Velvet Shank (Flammolina velutipes), Candlesnuff Fungus (Xylaria hypoxylon), Bay Polypore (Polyporus durus), Oysterling (Crepidotus sp.), Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus), Elder Whitewash (Hyphodontia sambuci), Wrinkled Peach (Rodotus palmatus).
Birds:
Black-headed Gull, Bullfinch, Goldeneye, Carrion Crow, Coot, Cormorant, Dunnock, Fieldfare, Gadwall, Goldcrest, Great-Crested Grebe, Greylag Goose, Magpie, Mallard, Pochard, Pied Wagtail, Redwing, Wigeon, Teal.
Participants:
Graham Bateman, Chris Biggs, Michael Bloom, Eleanor & Arthur Dangerfield, David Guyoncourt, Jackie Hudson, Ian Smith, Hugh & Vivienne Summers, Michael & Gillian Taylor.

Hugh Summers