FIELD TRIP 21ST JUNE 2020 – MARRINUP CAMP SITE, DWELLINGUP
With everyone keen to emerge from Covid enforced isolation, we had an excellent turnout of 32 attendees for our June field excursion. We were pleased to be joined by members of other branches as well as some visitors from the Insect Society and others that had learned about the walk through the Meetup site and other web-based sources.
Our walk commenced at the Marrinup campsite just out of Dwellingup Township. Despite the very cold night (it was still only 8oC at 9:00 am), the camping area was quite full of caravans and campers. In addition, there was a large number of mountain bikers using the numerous trails set up for the sport. Our walk would take us along part of the Munda Biddi trail through Jarrah forest, with our primary aim to discover fungi that had emerged after the onset of winter rains, but it was hoped we would also spot some woodland birds and winter flowering plants. Indeed we set off to the raucous chorus of feeding Red-tailed Black Cockatoos and evidence of their efforts was scattered all along the trail in the form of well chewed honky nuts.
With us being such a large group, it was inevitable that we would become spread out; and so it was, with the insect specialists and photographers making up the tail. It soon became evident that we would not be disappointed in terms of finding fungi with many specimens to be seen along the edges of the trail. These included Crepidotus variabilis, Russula clelandii, Turkey tails – Trametes versicolor and lots of small Pixie Caps (Mycena sp.) and Orange Mosscaps (Rickenella fibula).
A group of Beef Steak Fungi (Fistulina hepatica) was spotted on the trunk of a Jarrah, just above head height.
A few of us were delighted to spot a Tapeigaster sp. Sun Fly sitting on one of them on our return walk back to the car park. This species is one of the fungivores mentioned by Daniel Heald in the online talk on the previous Monday, so it was an especially good sighting.
Other fungi of note were an orange, rubbery cup fungus (Aleuria sp.), several species of Coral Fungus, the Rhubarb and Custard Bolete (Boletellus obscurecoccineus), and another Bolete (Gyroporus sp.?) that was itself being devoured by the Bolete Eater Fungus (Hypomyces chrysospermus).
There were few plants in flower and those that were in flower proved difficult to spot. The Small Flower Mat Rush (Lomandra micrantha) appeared at first to be a dried flower spike but on closer inspection the flowers could be seen.
The Candle Cranberry (Styphelia discolor) was tucked in beneath some other shrubs making its distinctly shaped flowers difficult to spot.
Our large group plus other hikers and many mountain bikers caused woodland birds to be very shy, preferring to stay well hidden in the undergrowth or forest canopy. With so much to see and photograph the time passed quickly and it was soon time to head back to our cars for morning tea. From conversations over a cuppa it was evident that everyone had really enjoyed the morning’s walk. As people started to disperse some of the woodland birds made an appearance with a family of Splendid Fairy Wrens and a pair of White-breasted Robins foraging near the start of one of the cycling trails. That was a good ending to a great outing.
To view some of the fungi spotted on our walk go to the KRMB Facebook Group where several of the participants have posted their images.