It was strangely warm today, at first misty and then just very, very dull. The damp grey conditions were livened up by quite a good showing of fungi around the reserve. The logs beside the track between the Centre and Woodland Hide are particularly good, many have clusters of turkey-tail fungus.
The moss covered, more rotted ones sometimes have candle snuff.
There are also increasing numbers of scarlet elf-cups, a species that is always around in greatest numbers in late January.
I also found a few more conventional “toadstools”, one group on an old alder stump.
Also these tiny pale ones on a moss covered willow trunk.
The fallen branches often have various fungi on and one had a brightly coloured fungus encrusted all along it.
Some fungi live in association with algae to produce lichens, spore production brings out their fungal side.
With all this emphasis on fungi you might think it was autumn, but there was a distinct feel of spring with the first few of the wild daffodil near the Woodland hide already in flower.
You may have noticed that these pictures were taken using a flash, this was because it was so dull today that I could not get a picture of any of these without it!
Out on the reserve the bittern was at Ivy North on and off all day and out on Ibsley Water the usual black-necked grebe and Slavonian grebe had hundreds of duck for company. I counted exactly 200 pintail, my highest count so far this winter.
In the late after noon the gull roost was joined by the first winter Caspian gull which stood out on the shingle spit to the right of the Tern hide for all to see, including me, which was pleasing as I had previously failed to catch up with it.