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Hailey – 17 October 2012

Ricki Bull led a walk from the King William IV pub at Hailey on Wednesday 17th October. There had been heavy rain overnight and there were extremely heavy showers in the afternoon, but the walk took place in bright sunshine with a stiff southerly breeze. The route started out northwards across the fields towards Woodhouse Farm. A pheasant shoot was under way, but fortunately the guns were pointing away from the footpath. Clumps of conical shiny fungi in the first stretch of woodland were identified as Glistening Ink Cap and a distinctive Magpie Fungus was spotted. The route then turned eastwards, following a track up through the fields towards Mongewell Woods. There were still a few flowers to be seen, including Wild Mignonette, Burnet Saxifrage, White Campion, Wild Basil and Field Scabious. In the hedgerow were black Buckthorn berries and the red berries of hawthorn and rose. The leaves on the trees in Mongewell Woods were still predominantly green, with the first autumn colours just beginning to appear. In the woods, several Earth Star fungi were found and a Roe Deer crossed the path. A flock of Goldfinches were resting on the fence in the fields above the wood and a single Red Admiral butterfly flew along the hedge. A Common Shrew darted out from under a sheet of plastic which was lying beside the path. An unusual tree in the farmyard at Homer Farm was identified as a Mulberry and there were a number of Yellow Stainer fungi in the grass. The walk finished by following the track back eastwards down towards the pub, where most of the party stayed for lunch.