Saturday, 10 October 2015

Fungi spotting in the New Forest

All of my nature loving friends have a 'bogey' bird, one that they have never seen or have only fleetingly glimpsed or have only got a poor record photo of.
Me ? I have a 'bogey' fungi. The Fly Agaric to be precise. The only one I had ever seen, in my whole life, was one that was aged and had already gone over at Pulborough last year.
So over the last couple of weeks I've been scouring the Facebook forums for any recorded sightings near to me, bearing in mind I don't drive and I only have my weekends free. My obliging understanding Mum and I even took a short walk around Denham Quarry but to no avail, and the lovely lot at Maple Lodge NR were also looking out for any sightings for me. So when I saw a Facebook post from Paul Cox during the week with a cracking photo of a Fly Agaric, I just had to reply how jealous I was.
Next thing I know Paul and his gorgeous other half, my mate Jonesy, had asked if I wanted to come out with them today. I guessed they were going to take me to the site Paul had visited during the week, but I was wrong, very very wrong.....
Days out with Paul and Jonesy are never boring. The last few have resulted in me seeing several 'lifers' including Adders, Silver-spotted Skippers, Adonis Blues, Wall Browns and today they didn't disappoint as I got to see Fly Agarics.
Today we went to the New Forest in Hampshire.
The Fly Agaric is the ultimate idyllic image everyone has in mind when they think of a toadstool. In fact it is a mushroom, classed as poisonous but rarely results in death, and is also known for having the power to induce hallucinations if eaten.
Once we found one today, we then kept stumbling across quite a few of them and I was able to get  photos of each stage of their fruiting....
Introducing the Fly Agaric aka Amanita muscaria..........

and I even managed a poor shot of a fly on a Fly.....

Paul, Jonesy and I had drawn up a tick list for what fungi we wanted to see today. They were the Fly Agaric, Amethyst Deceiver and Magpie Inkcap.
We got two ticks on our hit list but the Magpie Inkcap is not confirmed. The nearest we found that even resembled it was this poor specimen.....and we're not even convinced it is a Magpie.
However our Jonesy spotted the first Amethyst Deceiver today, and just like the Fly Agaric, once we found one we then kept on finding more of this beautifully coloured small fungi......
Introducing the Amethyst Deceiver aka Laccaria amethystea.....

We also found one of my all time favourites, the Yellow Stagshorn aka Calocera viscola....

and it's similar cousin, the Candle Snuff fungi, Xyleria hypoxylon....
There were good numbers of Porcelain fungi around too, aka Oudemansiella mucida, and yes they are as wet and sticky as they look....

and a new one for me today, thanks to three gents who were also taking photos of fungi, was the tiny microscopic Eyelash fungus, Scutellinia scutellata.
It was really was tiny and it called for my macro lens to be used. Each individual was only just larger than a pin head. My photos don't do the beauty justice and Jonesy borrowed one of the gents eye glasses to view it up close and see they tiny black hairs that emerge from the side.... 

Another confirmed find was the Upright Coral, Ramaria stricta. There were loads of this all centralised on one area along a wet leaf filled ditch....
We didn't find any good sized Puffball specimens, but we found a good number of young ones...
Lycoperdon perlatum...

and Jonesy found us it's similar looking cousin, the Earth-ball, Scleroderma citrinum....

Jonesy loves her critters and we found several Dor Beetles scuttling about today.
They are the English forest equivalent of a Dung Beetle....
Another confirmed sighting was of our very own lesser spotted Jonesy lounging on a fallen tree.....

Despite having three knowledgeable people in our fungi foraging team today, we didn't have any id books with us, and I haven't yet had the time to get the rest of the fungi identified so here are a whole stack of fungi photos, without names, but which I know several are fairly common......
 Feel free to comment on any that you know.....




Considering we spent just the afternoon at the New Forest we had a great time. Every where we looked there were more fungi to examine, poke and photograph. We respected the fruits too, and didn't pick or kick over any. The weather was fine, the conditions were perfect. I have never had a better fungi spotting day than today.
Thank you so much Paul and Jonesy.


  1. The mushroom that you thought could be the Magpie Inkcap is really the Panther Cap (Amanita Pantherina) or the Blusher (Amanita Rubescens): they are very similar, but the Blusher blushes when bruised or cut, and I don't see any reddening in the mushroom in your photo.

  2. Starting from the photos of the unidentified mushrooms (after Jonesy):
    1, 4 and 15 are Brittlegills (Russula). I'm afraid you need more than a photo to id the species.
    9 and 10 is Tinder Fungus (also called Hoof Fungus) (Fomes fomentarius)
    11 is Birch Polypore (Piptoporus betulinus)
    20 is Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor)

  3. 21 looks like the Glistening Ink Cap (Coprinus micaceus), and 22 may be the same once it has started to deliquesce.

  4. 2 looks like an old Milk Cap (Lactarius), while 26 looks like a Roll-rim, probably Paxillus atromentosus. 23 is a bolete of the Leccinum genus. You also have Honey Fungus (Armillaria).

  5. I was going to say, the eaten out 'magpie inkcap' is an Amanita, probably Amanita Pantherina or the other type for brown, warty Amanita. Really glad you were not foraging!

    I can see two pictures of Gymnopilus junonius (just google it to see what it looks like, and you'll figure out the pic number it is).
    You have several pictures (3 or 4 pics, incl. the last picture) of Armillaria, possibly Armillaria Mellea, or honey fungus - a sign that those trees have Armillaria disease.
    The third picture from the bottom could be Amanita fulva, if it had a volva.
    You probably have a Leccinum (5th pic from the bottom).
    And somewhere in the middle, the yellow, small capped mushroom growing out of wood is probably Hypholoma fasciculare.
    Good haul!

  6. Huge thanks Mario and Sara.
    My laptop crashed on me yesterday afternoon which is why I haven't been able to comment until now.
    Again, thank you very much