Rare mushroom in Flanders for first time ever

Hygrocybe viola waxcap, photo by Yves Deneyer

Translated from the Flemish mycologists of Paddenstoelenwerkgroep Westhoek:

Monday, December 22, 2014

In Elverdinge (Ypres) during an excursion of the Mushroom Task Force West Flanders Hygrocybe viola was discovered. It is the first observation of this species in Flanders. Across Europe there are only a handful of reports of this mushroom with its lilac-colored hat.

In Belgium one other discovery was made of the rare Hygrocybe viola: in 1977, in Vencimont (Wallonia). There are only a handful of known observations in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Denmark (Boertmann, 2010). That makes Hygrocybe viola one of the rarest of the scions of the waxcap family.

Kingfisher, goosander and fieldfare

This video from Britain says about itself:

BTO Bird ID – Goosander and Red-breasted Merganser

Identifying the two large sawbills, Goosander and Red-breasted Merganser, can be pretty straight-forward when confronted with male birds. However, the females, or redheads as they are more often called, can be much more difficult. This, the latest ID video gives useful pointers on how to confidently tell them apart.

Saturday 20 December was a stormy day. Usually, days like that are not really good for birdwatching. Birds tend to hide more than usually. We went to the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen. Would we see goosanders, beautiful birds sometimes wintering here? Would rain contribute to wind in making birding difficult?

The answer to the second question is no, it stayed dry. For an answer to the first question, keep reading :)

As we arrived, a blackbird flying past.

Great tit and nuthatch sounds.

In a lakelet, a male tufted duck swims. In a part of the lakelet which is more protected from wind, scores of tufted ducks, both males and females, rest. A male common pochard rests in this flock too. Two coots swim. A great cormorant flies overhead.

Not far away, little mushrooms grow. They are winter stalkball fungi.

In the next lake, a male goldeneye swims. We would see more birds of this beautiful species later.

Near the bank, a fallow deer. We would also see more of these mammals.

In the next pond, a mute swan couple. And four gadwall ducks, but they fly away. A female pochard keeps swimming.

A jay calls.

In a treeless, marshy area, some people see a jack snipe.

We arrive at a canal. Two goosander males and one female swim there.

A bit further, an even more special bird. A male kingfisher sitting on a branch near water.

This is a kingfisher video from Lewisham, London, England.

Fieldfares land in a bush.

Finally, two buzzards circling in the air together.

Rare mushrooms found on old Dutch fortresses

This video is about fungi.

Translated from the Dutch Mycological Society:

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

During an excursion by a Dutch waxcap study group on the ground layer of a fortress belonging to the Defence Line of Amsterdam many very rare bitter waxcaps were discovered. They spoke about hundreds of specimens. Such a number is unique both for the Netherlands and abroad.

Besides the bitter waxcaps there were even more unusual species on the fortresses like Hygrocybe fornicata, Hygrocybe quieta, scarlet hood, Hygrocybe irrigata, butter waxcap, Hygrocybe insipida and masses copies of Hygrocybe psittacina.

Rare fungus discovery in the Netherlands

This video from the USA is called Biology 1B – Lecture 27: First Plants – Fungi Lecture.

Translated from the Dutch Mycological Society:

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

During an excursion to the coastal dunes south of Ijmuiden members of Mushrooms Workgroup “The Noordkop” discovered many Hohenbuehelia fungi. After identification this turned out to be the very rare and endangered Hohenbuehelia culmicola. The fungi grew on the southern slope of a coastal sand dune.


At global level, Hohenbuehelia culmicola is confined to the coasts of Western Europe. Until now this species had been found in the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Ireland, Great Britain, France and Belgium but every time these were only a few discoveries by country. The Dutch sites are therefore of great international importance.

Hohenbuehelia culmicola was only described in 1979 for the first time for the dunes of northwestern France by the French mycologist M. Bon. In 1984, Hohenbuehelia culmicola was first discovered in the Netherlands in the Kwade Hoek on Goeree island.

A close look inside the “freeways” of fungus that efficiently transport nutrients: here.

Rare mushrooms in Dutch coniferous woodlands

This video is called National Geographic – Kingdom Of The Forest – Fungi.

Translated from the Dutch Mycological Society:

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

As part of the Drenthe Atlas Project Mushrooms Workgroup Drenthe (PWD) from 1999 on has examined Drenthe everywhere in all corners. It showed the importance of some forests with Norway spruce for a range of rare and endangered mushrooms. Also downright spectacular mushrooms were found, like goatcheese webcap and Psathyrella caputmedusae, which were thought to be extinct. And olive wax cap, which had been found only once before in the Netherlands.

Already in 2001 the supposedly extinct goatcheese webcap (Cortinarius camphoratus) had been found in a dark, damp and mossy plot with sixty years old Norway spruce in Grolloo forestry district.

See also here.

Fungus discovered on Texel island for first time

Arrhenia spathulata

Warden Erik van der Spek reports from Texel in the Netherlands that a rare fungus species has been discovered for the first time ever on the island.

It is Arrhenia spathulata. It had been discovered before on the other inhabited islands of the Dutch Wadden Sea, but not yet on Texel.

This species grows on moss.

Fungi and late butterfly of Gooilust

Strict-branch coral fungi, Gooilust, 24 November 2014

After 23 November in the Corversbos nature reserve, the next day, 24 November, to Gooilust, not far away. We found these strict-branch coral fungi there.

Before finding these fungi, we had heard nuthatches.

A red admiral butterfly, flying to the top of a coniferous tree; basking in the sunshine on a branch. This was about the last mild autumn day. Next night, it would freeze. Has the butterfly survived that?

Clouded agaric mushrooms. A robin on a branch.

Mycena, Gooilust, 24 November 2014

After the coral fungi, these small mushrooms. Probably one of many Mycena species.

Mycena, in Gooilust, 24 November 2014

This, on a fallen tree, looks like another Mycena species.

Whitish-greenish fungus, 24 November 2014

On a stump, much bigger fungi. Some of them whitish, some greenish like salad; between orange-reddish fallen autumn leaves.

As we went to the exit, a buzzard landed on a branch.

Don’t let their small size fool you. Fungi are capable of mind-blowing feats: here.