Archive for October 30th, 2009

30th October 2009, Friday

Beauport Park

Oudemansiella mucida, the Porcelain Mushroom is specific to beech wood. It appears in autumn on dead trunks and on fallen branches, and occasionally it also grows on living trees. About 20 years ago scientists discovered that this fungus ( along with many others) produced a powerful anti-fungal agent which helps it to defend its timber from attack by rival species of fungus. This substance was later synthesised, and spawned a multi-million pound branch of the agricultural fungicide business, the development of the strobilurin fungicides. These have been responsible for the most dramatic improvements in crop yields ( an additional 1 tonne of wheat per hectare is common ). Nearly every single wheat crop in the world is now treated with strobilurin fungicides, which are now already in their 4th or 5th generation –

A noisy flock of about 300 Lesser Redpolls was moving around the tops of the birches in the western end of the park today. This is the largest flock I’ve seen locally for years.
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30th October 2009, Friday

Speckled Bush-cricket

Only 3 days after the Dark Bush-cricket I reported here, this male Speckled Bush-cricket (Leptophyes punctatissima), a common garden species, was in my moth trap in Rye this morning. Bush-crickets and true crickets are always told from grasshoppers by their very long and fine antennae.

30th October 2009, Friday

Camber Castle open on Saturday

Camber Castle will be open to visitors on Saturday 31st October from 1.00-4.00pm. New children’s book “The Ghost of Camber Castle” will be available to buy for just £7, and author Marian Mason will be there to sign your copy! Alternatively, people can take part in a guided walk taking in both the Castle and the wildlife at Castle Water. The walk leaves Brede Lock at 1pm and will finish at around 4pm. Donations appreciated.