Thursday, 17 December 2015

Dec 17th Mousehold Heath

Ready for a walk around Mousehold Heath
This morning was incredibly warm for December and while the group I have joined were meeting up ready for a walk around Mousehold, a red admiral butterfly flew by us. It sounds strange to see a butterfly in the middle of winter, but it has been extremely mild this December and the warm weather has brought it out from its torpor state.

Our walk was guided by Will the Mousehold warden and Peter the walk's naturalist. We also had tagging along with us a fungi expert called Neil and with his help, we were able to find several species of fungi. Here are a few things we saw this morning...

Witch's Butter
Olive Oysterling
Some larger Olive Oysterlings
Painted Bracket (I think)
Slime Mould
Leopard Slug
Blue Tit
Gorse in flower
Some strange slime found beside Vinegar Pond
A gall
Birch Polypore
Plicatura crispa
Back in October, we had a fungi foray at Mousehold. Neil was with us for this event too and during this walk, he had found what is probably a new species, not just for Mousehold, but also for Norfolk. It is a kind of bracket fungus called Plicatura crispa and according to Neil, this species has never been recorded in Norfolk before. Experts are still researching on this to back up his claim, but how amazing would that be if he was right! Looking at them, they are very small and delicate. In fact, Neil gave me one of the brackets for a closer look and it was as light as a feather and extremely soft. This species was sprouting in clusters along the trunk of a tree alongside a completely different species, which is apparently unusual.

Plicatura crispa (topside)
Plicatura crispa (underside)

The other bracket species growing beside it
After lunch, we walked over to St James' Hill overlooking the city of Norwich. The sun had disappeard and it was rather grey and dull. We scanned over the city for peregrines but with no luck. We did, however, see some common gulls flying above us along with black-headed gulls.
Common Gull


  1. Hi Sean, a very interesting post. Would you be able to tell me roughly where the tree with the Plicatura crispa is - if I get a chance over Christmas I might go to Mousehold and have a look for it? Many thanks, James.

    1. Hi James. It is really hard to explain exactly where it is, but I will have a go. Park at Zak's car park. Walk down the path that goes behind the resturant (on the right hand side of the building). Keep walking straight, past a bench in a clearing, enter the woods and walk down a slope. It is on a silver birch at the bottom of a slope. Hope you can find it, you can blame me if I gave you bad directions.

    2. Thanks very much for the directions. I know the area you mean, so I'll head that way at some point and have a hunt around. Regards, James.