Sunday, 9 February 2014

Velvet Shank?

Lade - 0900hrs - mild, sunny, sw 6 - Another rough old night with heavy rain and gale force winds  dislodging another couple of tiles off the roof. The strong, blustery wind continued through the day making it difficult to cross the shingle towards the pits. Most of the ducks were on the more sheltered north lake where eight Goldeneyes and four Pintails were the highlights.
Beside north lake, in a sunny spot, we came across a clump of orange toadstools growing out of an old rotten stump. Now, my knowledge of fungi is limited to a few species that are edible, most notably horse mushrooms which are plentiful hereabouts in late summer/autumn. However, after a quick internet search the best I could come up with was Velvet Shank, Flammulina velutipes, a common winter fungi that grows out of timber, but I could be persuaded otherwise...

                                Probable Velvet Shank, Flammulina velutipes

Returning along the beach 15 Ringed Plovers picking over seaweed and other rubbish strewn across the beach were the only waders of note close to shore.
Pett Level - On the way back from Hastings this afternoon we dropped in at Pett Level where the wet meadows were packed out with birds. Thousands of Lapwings made up the numbers along with gulls, Starlings, feral geese, Curlews, Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler, 100 Dunlin, 100 Golden Plover, 10 Snipe, 5 Brents, Little Egret and 13 White-fronts. A Peregrine put in appearance, flushing the lot, before perching on a hummock out on the levels.


  1. Paul ,
    Your fungi has all the makings of Velvet Shank , especially given the time of year with not many species about . I usually find it on decaying Elm or Alder , but can be found on other deciduous trees .
    To be sure , next time past , have a look at the stems . If they are yellow where they join the cap , the rest covered with dense , brown , velvet like hairs , hence the common name , your ID is spot on .

  2. Many thanks, will do just that tomorrow