Oak Bracket Inonotus dryadeus

This large and impressive bracket fungus (up to 40cms wide) is usually found on live oak trees, although it can grow on other deciduous trees, generally appearing near the base of the trunk and always attacking the heartwood causing whiterot. The robust humpy fruiting brackets appear in early autumn when they weep an amber liquid from depressions on the upper surface.

Oak Bracket, Inonotus dryadeus, Button Oak, 24 August 2016 ©Rosemary Winnall

Oak Bracket, Inonotus dryadeus, Button Oak, 24 August 2016 ©Rosemary Winnall


Garden Snail, Cornu aspersum

Garden Snails (previously Helix aspersa) are commonly found in our gardens and countryside. They are best observed on a damp warm evening after rain. These 2 were found mating on a plant pot in the greenhouse. Like all Pulmonate snails, they are hermaphrodite (each having both male and female gametes), and exchange sperm during a process that can last several hours. After about 2 weeks each snail will lay up to 80 white eggs, usually in soil under logs and stones. The young snails take up to 2 years to mature. Although these snails are valued in some countries and collected to eat, they are not welcomed by gardeners in Britain!

Garden Snails, Bliss Gate, 20 August 2016 ©Rosemary Winnall

Garden Snails mating, Bliss Gate, 20 August 2016 ©Rosemary Winnall

Grey Wagtail

This Grey Wagtail was watched unobserved having a good preen in Dowles Brook. Its distinctive undulating flight, and bobbing tail when on the ground, are common to all wagtails. But the grey back and yellow chest and under-tail feathers show that it is a Grey Wagtail. This species is commonly found along watercourses.

Grey Wagtail, Dowles Brook, 30 July 2016 ©Rosemary Winnall