Sunday, 27 December 2015

Bird's Nest Fungus

During a visit to Nosterfield Nature Reserve on Sunday 20th December 2015, I was shown a small clump of Bird's Nest Fungus on a bench by the reedbed screen. I had never seen this before and so I took a few photographs.

Scientific name:  Crucibulum laeve

Size:  Approx 5 mm in diameter and 10 mm deep

Distribution:  Found in many parts of the U.K.

Months seen:  June to October

Habitat:  Normally found on rotting wood and vegetable matter

Special features:  The bird's nest fungi is often overlooked on account of its small size.  It starts off as a yellowish, funnel-shaped growth. The top has a membrane which falls away to reveal the egg-shaped contents.  These 'eggs', called 'peridioles', are containers for the spores, and they're attached to the nest by a tiny thread.  When raindrops land inside the cup they get knocked out, and the spores get dispersed.

On the same bench was some Common Jellyspot Fungus (Dacrymyces stillatus). 

The view from the reedbed screen was great especially when the Bittern flew past!

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