New fungus nearly gets away…

Following on from our Fungus foray on the 20/10/20 Peter Gurney YWT who attended the foray found another photo of a fungus Spinellus fusiger Bonnet Mould which was not added to the original list!

And even better it’s a new Fungi species of our list! Well Peter..and an excellent photo too..

FROM ”first-nature.com” This very common little parasite of Mycena species (and of several other mushroom genera) is known as a pin mould. It appears on the caps of larger fungi as erect pale brownish-yellow sporangiophores (specialised hyphae) on which its zygospores are produced.

Bonnet Mould and the other members of the Spinellus genus are able to reproduce when ‘pins’ from the same mycelium contact one another; such fungi are termed ‘homothalic’. FROM ”first-nature.com/

Fungus Foray…

On the 20th of October I attended a Fungus foray at Raw Nook NR lead by the very knowledgeable Kat Woolley of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. This follows on from last years successful fungus survey by Kat on the 22/10/19.

Sadly due to Covid 19 restriction only 6 people could attend and social distancing was in place. The main aim of the meeting was to build a better understanding of the species that inhabit the reserve and to increase the species list which stood at 48 species, so there was no pressure of Kat..ha..ha

Kat…quickly finds some interesting fungi

We first headed for the dense Hazel and Willow scrub area in the middle of the meadow.

It was suppose to be a quick look but we kept Kat that busy with the interesting finds….we were in there a good hour!

White Saddle Helvella crispa

One of the more strange looking fungi found in this area is the White Saddle Helvella crispa which was also found last year in the same location.

Also found was the delightfully name Lemon Disco – Bisporella citrina fungi…

Incidentally Sarah Goldsmith YWT who also attended has brought out an excellent ” Virtual fungus foray” https://www.facebook.com/groups/BUD.Bradford/ with a map…So you too can find and enjoy the Fungus Foray!

Walking on to the flooded area on the left we found hardly any fungi however, Kat pointed out on a nearby Willow a lovely Blushing Bracket Daedaleopsis confragosa. One of my favorite members of the Bracket family.

Blushing Bracket (Underside)

It was soon time for a well earned rest….Well for Kat anyway… so it was a quick stop for lunch.

As we continued more and more new species were found including the Leaf Parachute Marasmius epiphyllus, Common Rustgill  Gymnopilus penetrans and the worryingly name Poisonpie Hebeloma crustuliniforme.

Heath Waxcap Gliophorus laetus

We eventually arrived at the top of the reserve by the large heather patch ( Near the bridge. ) It wasn’t long before Kat let out a ” Oh! brilliant ” as she had identifield not one Waxcap fungi species but three! Which is excellent news for this urban reserve.

The three species were the Heath, Meadow and Vermilion waxcap.

Yellow Club – Clavulinopsis helvola

Another new species found just by the Waxcaps was the lovely Yellow Club – Clavulinopsis helvola

So as we came to the end of the foray it was time to total up Kat’s finds. An excellent 18 new species were added to our list of 48 fungi species for the reserve.

However, there was one species that summed up the fungi walk for me, the privilege to witness the birth of an emerging fungi.

An emerging  Fly agaric Amanita muscaria about to burst into life

Special thanks to Sarah Goldsmith for arranging the foray and an even bigger thank you to Kat Woolley for all her patience and knowledge.

Thrushes arrive and a Pink surprise…

It’s been a busy few days at the watch point at Caldene fields. Favourable weather conditions allowed winter thrushes to take advantage and arrive in the UK on mass. The influx started here on the 13/10 with 515 Fieldfare and 193 Redwings observed moving through our area and beyond.

The following day Redwings were noted coming in from the S and moving N many well east of the watch point.

Yesterday’s totals https://www.trektellen.org/count/view/779/20201015

Passage carried on again today with birds moving N. Redwings were the most evident with the majority of birds moving again to the east of the watch point, 2,997 in total with just 215 Fieldfare noted.

Caught in these movement are Song Thrushes and Blackbirds but in much smaller numbers. A small number of Skylarks and Chaffinch have also been involved in this influx again moving N.

Lastly there was an excellent movement of incoming Pink footed geese high in the sky moving S/E around 10.15 seven skeins were observed and a total of 1660 was noted.

Whilst it might be a busy time I still have time to admire the wonderful autumn colours at the watch point….and not only for any possible migrant birds! ha


This morning at 07.55 a Hawfinch came in from the N and flew low to the S over Caldene fields. My sixth record for this stunning finch.

Three moths were in the trap this morning a Silver Y, and two autumn moths a Red line Quaker and a Rosy Rustic.

On the 10/10 I had an excellent count of 157 Goldfinches moving S/W with a further 55 feeding locally.

One of a number of parties of Goldfinches moving S/W

In addition a Common Buzzard was circling the watch point on the 8/10

Sightings updates…

Most of my time at the moment is taken up with visible migration. Especially as moth numbers have reduced as autumn progresses. In fact the last moths were caught on 29/9 and included a Barred Sallow and 2 Lunar Underwings both are regular autumn moths.

As I reported earlier Goldfinches seem to have an an excellent breeding season. To illustrate this point this September I have recorded an excellent count of 2,115 birds passing the watch point. In 2019 1,082 were recorded, 2018 = 717, 2017 = 1,135.

On the 27th of September there was an early influx of Redwings moving through our area with 407 S/W + 37 N/W. A Crossbill flew S on the 1/10 and today 2 Swallows moved S and I had a nice surprise with a Shelduck that flew high to the N/W


Meadow work at THB

Well what an excellent job Peter Gurney and his team from WYT have done cutting back that meadow area at Toad Holes Beck.

The area was full of Himalayan balsam and rank vegetation with few nectar rich wild flowers. All the cut vegetation has been removed so to reduces soil fertility, which is the long term key to encouraging more wildflowers.

On a different note. Yesterday I watch a Grey Squirrel and a Jay both collecting Acorns to store for the winter. However, when the sunlight hit the Oak tree I never realised just how beautiful the fresh acorn is!

Sightings Update…

Yesterday I had I received some interesting news from someone who regularly visit Low Moor Banks. They told me that they had a conversation with someone at the site who stated he had seen a Barn Owl sitting on a fence post in the Low Moor Banks area. Now this site with it’s open grasslands must hold a good population of mice/voles which would provide a feeding area. Also about 5 years ago I saw a Barn owl early evening at Tong. So it could be feasible that a pair maybe somewhere in the south Bradford area.

If anyone has any sightings of Barn owl in south Bradford please could you please let me know. Thank you

Goldfinches must have had an excellent breeding year as I am recording some excellent counts of the species as they pass through our area. To date I have recorded 1,647 birds whereas last year 949 were recorded up to the 20/9.

A Common Whitethroat passed through Caldene fields 13/9 and two early Brambling moved S with a Song Thrush on the 19/9.

A female Common Darter and 5 Speckled Wood butterflies were at Raw Nook NR 19/9

Goldfinch heaven…

Iv’e noticed for a number of years now that our area is a bit of a magnet for Goldfinches. There are many open fields with seeds for the species to take advantage of like the Thistle species.

In Britain, the Goldfinch is a partial migrant, with some birds, mainly males, staying here in winter but others migrate in September and October and some pass through our area to winter in Belgium, France and Spain.

This year, so far has been good for goldfinch. From the 1/9 to 9/9 I have recorded a total of 542 moving to the S/W and N/W. In addition good number of Goldfinches have been observed feeding in and around Caldene fields with the highest count of 70+ on the 8/9/20.

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