I have resisted the temptation to add a couple of eyes above this young beefsteak fungus emerging from an old stump between Ivy North and Woodland Hide, but only just!
The beefsteak fungus is described as edible and indeed I have sampled it many times over the years with mixed success. Named for the blood red viscous fluid that it oozes when cut and, to an extent, its texture as well, you should also be aware that although edible, some people can have a severe reaction to it – indeed I think I may have once poisoned a housemate with my beefsteak fungus dinner a few years ago! I was fine , and in fact finished up leftovers the following evening. He however had a small portion the first evening and was then violently ill “at both ends” so to speak for the next 48 hours! at times I have found it delicious, at others bitter and unpleasant and for no discernible reason as far as I can tell (i.e. it hasn’t been the age of the fungus), so these days I leave it where I find it and enjoy the splash of colour it gives to the woods in which it can be found.
Other than the mushroom other highlights of the day included a kingfisher outside Ivy South Hide as I opened up, with the great white egret perched in a tree to the left and at Tern Hide a common sandpiper amongst a trio of wagtails – predominantly pied there was also a yellow and a grey wagtail in front and to the right of the hide this morning. Lovely for those that saw them to be able to enjoy all three together.
The light trap held a few surprises too – as well as pond beetles (not common, but nor is it unusual, the day before there were at least a dozen in there) there was a lovely male common darter, which unfortunately flew away before I could het the camera turned on.
There was a nice collection of moths (14 species), of which snout and large yellow underwing were the most common. As autumn draws in and the leaves turn, more and more moth species are yellow and perfectly match the shades and markings of autumnal silver birch – like the canary shouldered thorn and sallow:
It was nice to get a photo of a couple of the sallows, showing the marked variation that they can have in their colouration.
A final moth for the blog we identified as a confused – and we were, so if Bob or anyone else reading this is able to confirm or re-identify this one from this picture, please let me know!