A lovely walk this morning along the Cefn Onn Ridge near Thornhill (Cardiff) to look for autumn fungi. There was an interesting mix of birds too seen along the route including Nuthatches, Raven, Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers, Siskin, a pair of Sparrowhawks circling over the quarry and a Tawny Owl which flew out of a tree as I walked past.
However the walk was to see what autumn species of plant and fungi was about and the list was interesting, starting with a lovely Common Puffball (picture above, copyright ND), Blushing Brackets, Birch Mazegill, a very large group of Trooping Crumble Caps, some young Birch Polypores and some Dryads Saddle which unfortunately had gone over. A nice group of Cramp Balls was growing on an Ash tree and some Ganoderma or Artists Fungus had totally eaten into a Beech tree with the brown spores covering everything around it, including some spider webs.
Plants were plentiful too with some interesting species found such as several Common Twayblades (a member of the Orchid family), carpets of Dog’s Mercury in the woodland and a good covering of Ground Ivy too with a few Enchanter’s Nightshades mixed in. Meadowsweet and Bird’s Foot Trefoil (picture below, copyright ND).
The lovely yellow flowers of Trefoil.
In a damp meadow the recent Common Spotted Orchids had gone over but there was plenty of colour from other species such as Marsh Thistle, Meadow Buttercup, Sorrel. Devil’s Bit scabious and Lesser Stitchwort. Numerous Cross Spider webs were covered with a light dew.
On the edge of the nearby disused quarry I found a plant I had been waiting patiently to see – the Autumn Gentian. Patches of Eyebright, Carlisle Thistle, Weld and the delicate blue flowers of Harebell were close by.