Field Event Reports

Sunday 23 October 2016: Fungus Foray at Foxcombe Wood

Courtesy: Stephen West

Leader: John Killick

There was a good size group of foragers

John Killick welcomed about 25 members, friends and visitors to Foxcombe Wood near Boars Hill at 2 pm. on a sunny but cold autumn afternoon. Also in attendance was Stephen West, warden of the wood, which is maintained as a nature reserve by the Cecil Pilkington Trust. John remarked that the last time he had led a foray on this site was in 2005, and expressed surprise that we had not re-visited it for so long. In fact, due to the preceding period of dry weather, today’s foray had been in doubt until a few days before the event, but a reconnaissance then provided just sufficient species to enable it to go ahead.

John started by showing us some specimens he had collected previously, and some growing near the meeting point. We then set off on a circular walk around the reserve stopping at intervals when an interesting specimen was found. Some people picked fungi and brought them to John, but this was discouraged as it affected spore dispersal and also spoilt the appearance of the fungi in their original location for those who wished to photograph specimens in situ. There were a considerable number of children in the party, some of whom were surprisingly interested and knowledgeable about fungi, and all enjoyed a pleasant afternoon walking and playing in the woods. Eventually we headed downhill to a small pond, from where we walked back to the car park by a different, and surprisingly short, route. On this route we were shown one of the highlights of the afternoon, Helvella crispa, a white Ascomycete looking like a mis-shapen saddle. Other highlights were various mushrooms and Amanitas including the showy red and white-spotted Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria), the unusual bracket Phaeolus schweinitzii growing on pine stumps, and an abundance of Scleroderma citrinum (Earth-ball, a non-puffing puffball). The Stinkhorn (Phallus impudicus) was found as its jelly, egg-like precursor.

John furnished me with a species list which follows this report and also, for comparison, his report for the foray which he led in 2005. The total 2016 species count was 47, which actually exceeded that for 2005.

Report: Michael Bloom

John Killick, Steve West & partner, Richard Lewington, Jo Cartmell, Oliver Bird (Jo's 8 year old grandson), Sue Calvert-Fisher, Alex White (12 years old, has own blog - Appleton Wildlife Diary ), Alex's Mum (friend of Jo's), Michael Bloom, Adrian Allsop, Tony & Lyn Richmond, Tam and Rebecca Richmond + grandson, Alan & Pam Hills, Lou Sumner plus several guests, David Guyoncourt. 

John Killick’s Species list for 23 October 2016 :

# on recce only, @ not seen in 2005.

Agaricus silvaticus: scaly wood mushroom @
Amanita citrina: false deathcap
Amanita excelsa
Amanita muscaria: fly agaric
Armillaria mellea: Honey Fungus
Clitocybe =Lepista inversa @
Collybia butyracea: butter cap
Collybia dryophila
Coprinus cf micaceus ?
Hypholoma fasciculare: sulphur tuft — stumps, logs, tree base
Laccaria amethystina: violet deceiver
Lactarius sp.: milk-cap
Lepista nuda:wood blewit
Macrolepiota rhacodes =Lepiota: shaggy parasol
Mycena galericulata: bonnet mycena
Mycena ? galopus – too dry for juice
Mycena pura
Mycena rubrimarginata — dark red edge to gills @
#Mycena cf filopes
Pleurotus ostreatus: Oyster mushroom sh; on cherry log
Pluteus cervinus: fawn mushroom — on seat
Russula ochroleuca: yellow russula
Russula dark purple
Russula pink
Boletes named by Alan Hills
Boletus edulis part @ Xerocomus cisalpinus = Boletus chrysenteron: cracking bolete
Paxillus involutus: brown roll-rim @
Bjerkandera adusta
Coriolus versicolor
Daedaleopsis confragosa: blushing bracket
Ganoderma ? applanatum: artists fungus – dead stumps
Phaeolus schweinitzii
#Piptoporus betulinus: birch bracket — birch
?Stereum cf hirsutum
#Tyromyces caesius = Oligoporus
Jelly fungi
#?Calocera viscosa — on rotten log
Puffballs etc
Lycoperdon ?perlatum: pufffball — among leaves
Phallus impudicus: stinkhorn @ —one, young
Scleroderma citrinum: Earth-ball — many near path
#Daldinia concentrica – Alfred’s cakes
# cf Diatrype disciformis but bigger, black blobs — dead branch
Helvella crispa: white saddle @ near path
?Hypoxylon nummularium: new — on cherry log
Xylaria hypoxylon: candle-snuff — dead stump
Fuligo septica: Dog’s vomit Slime mould — dead wood @
Ash brown rot @
Leaf-green @

John Killick’s report on his Fungus Foray in Foxcombe Wood in 2005 :

“Perhaps 40 people came to Foxcombe Wood on a mild, grey Sunday afternoon; seven had been attracted by a notice in the “Oxford Times”. Stephen West welcomed us: he has managed the wood for some years for the Cecil Pilkington Trust, with nature conservation in mind. After a fairly dry October, a great variety of fungi were not to be expected, but some of those that were up were plentiful and the best were within 100 yards of the car park. There were lots of Clitocybe, with gills trailing down the stem, with the edible for most people clouded agaric again plentiful; two other sorts were strongly fragrant and two of the blue-green aniseed toadstools were particularly beautiful. So were a few recently emerged fly agaric, the recreational uses of which were reported, and violet deceiver. The leathery stems of Collybia including many butter-cap were readily demonstrated. Mycena pura, pink and more spreading than most other Mycenas, was a little past its best but had made a nice fairy ring in . Two milk-caps, one mild and one acrid, took some identifying. Decaying wood had encouraged several fungi including brackets and some very fine sulphur-tuft; in older sulphur-tuft clumps the black spores dropped from the upper caps were readily seen on caps lower down. There were several stinkhorn “eggs” and at least one fine mature specimen, smelt from a distance, had a gooey brown spore mass at the top. But the prize exhibit was the earth stars in near piled timber; a colony of six at several stages including some that puffed nicely was the best I have seen anywhere.

As there was so much to see, the foray lasted two hours, although not everybody stayed that long. The species count, including some  spotted on a previous reconnaissance, was 42.”

Michael Bloom's gallery

Listening to John's introduction John Killick with a specimen from the recce John with the first find of the day On the foray Identifying a fungus

Earth Balls Fly Agarics John Killick White Saddle Mycena