Velvet Shank

Warren Glen is a challenge to walk as are most places at the moment, so I was pleased to find these fungi on the western side where there is a small patch of burnt gorse on Monday. Velvet shank, or Flammulina velutipes, can be found in late autumn through to spring and is said to favour dead gorse and elm (Marcel Bon). Fortunately this seems to be one of the few species of fungi that one can identify with some certainty without resorting to spore prints and a microscope. I particularly like the three in the hollow of the gorse stem.

 

Quarry flooding

Pretty much constant rain yesterday and last night (including a bit of snow) led to the most water I can remember seeing pouring out of the Quarry, heading for Warren Wood. There are places where it could go over the top of your wellies! Here’s a photo or twoplus one of a slightly snowy Warren Glen.

Footpath or stream?

That’s deep!

 

At the quarry face

Across the glen

A rare Wall on the Firehills

A personal new butterfly species record and a rare one for the CP it seems, as I can only find 2 previous records, one in 1993 in the field next to Barn Pond and the other in 2017 also on the Firehills. Possibly just under recorded as there are plenty of records for the rest of East Sussex.

Also seen today a juvenile Stonechat, note the mottled breast, making it’s unmistakeable alarm call with an adult male nearby doing the same. This demonstrates successful breeding again this year on the Firehills.

New Mirid Bug record

I am unable to find any previous records of Miris striatus or Fine Streaked Bugkin so am presenting this record of a nymph on the Firehills this Tuesday 12-05-2020 as a new species record for the Country Park. Many thanks to Taughtus for providing the ID.

First Bluebells 2020

Walking up Brakey Bank this morning I was pleasantly surprised to find some Bluebells out in flower and fully out too. Not many but plenty of Wood Anemones, a few Celandines and a couple of Red Campion too. That coupled with finding two Gorse Shieldbugs on Monday makes one feel that despite the incessant wind and rain, Spring is still able to make it’s presence felt.

Exmoor ponies

HBC have purchased 6 Exmoor ponies, yes 6 not 5 as announced on Facebook. They are currently in the heathland compartment behind the Quarry closest to the Coastguard cottages. They arrived on Saturday but today was the first opportunity to get a decent photo due to the atrocious weather. Still windy this morning but a bit of welcome sun.

A Remarkable Find in the Country Park

At the top of Ecclesbourne Glen there is a wild rose hedge that has proved to be good habitat for invertebrates. A number of finds over the past year have been new species for the Country Park list. Despite the Bank Holiday Weekend being cold and blustery, fresh leaf growth on the rose hedge was worth searching as it revealed another new species. It was a parasitoid wasp of the Platygastridae family, and not only was it a new species for the Country Park list, it was a new UK species. Until last weekend there were four wasps of the genus Metaclisis on the UK list, there are now five. Metaclisis germanica was described earlier this year as a new species to science, and it had only ever been found in Germany. Identification was made by microscopic examination  comparing the wasp to the species description.