Sunday, 22 February 2015

Weekend round-up

The walk back from the station on Friday evening was enlivened by a bit of a fungi search - at least 6 species found - on the down side, I can only id 3 of them Elfcup (probably Scarlet, but no microscope so can't rule out Ruby), Velvet Shank and King Alfred's Cakes.

Saturday morning saw me down at Ogmore by Sea for the early high tide. 7 Purple Sand's the highlight. The river around Portobello was v high - covering the saltmarsh on both sides of the river. The Water Pipit was found opposite Portobello. I followed this with a walk up to Norton, then returning via Pant Norton. Around Norton almost all Elder's were sprouting Jelly Ears. a flock of at least 7 Yellowhamers, inc 2 bright yellow males, were feeding in the fields just off the top of the Pant.

Taking advantage of the cold, but dry weather this morning I walked up to Parc Penallta via Cwm Malfon (Fidlers elbow to Nelson). A surprise was a Woodcock whilst walking along Cwm Malfon. A quick check of the former rookery in Nelson showed two nests but no Rooks - Is the colony now extinct? there was up to 6 pairs when I last checked , in 2013. By the time I reached Parc Penallta, the rain had arrived. Birding was slow but did manage to pick up a pair of Wilow Tit at Nelson Bog.

 Jelly Ear
 King Alfred's Cakes
 Scarlet? Elfcup
Velvet Shank


  1. Good read Martin and great photos.

  2. Some of these fungi have very apt names

  3. It's a little tricky, Martin, but I find I can just about see the hairs on Scarlet/Ruby Elfcup using a X10 magnification hand lens.X20 would definitely do it. I recently bought a X30 hand lens from a place called Eye Magnify It is a good quality triplex loupe and only cost about £20. It took a bit of getting used to, but now I find I use it as my main hand lens.

  4. Mmm, Might have a go at that - I've got a hand lens which I think is x10 but I tried it on one elfcup but couldn't make out any hairs - prob need to keep at it. I've also been thinking of getting one of the USB hand held microscopes.

  5. Try breaking a piece off the elfcup and examining the broken edge with the lens. Any hairs along the edge should be fairly visible, particularly if you view against a dark background.

  6. cheers - I'll see if I can pick up a cup tomorrow and give it a go

  7. Gave it ago..... and.....still couldn't make out any hairs when I used a knife to slice the cup. But... when I tore a piece off - hey presto! hairs... that appear to be of the straight variety. Ruby Elfcup then, rather than Scarlet. Also, I found it easier to see the hairs if it was done against a bright white background.

    1. Brilliant! We all find our preferred methods. I have never found S.coccinea, just austracia, which seems to be the most common of the two, so lucky you.

      Have a look at this, x100 plus to view the hairs to get to species level on Elfcups.