Twas pretty distant.
Great Grey Shrike
You can always count on a Stonechat to pose nicely at least!
Two weeks ago I actually 'twitched' a fungus, not for the first time though because I remember that I 'twitched' Death Cap, four years ago. You can read about that here if you've nothing better to do. (Yes, I know you have!) The fungus I twitched this time was the rare Red Cage Fungus - Clathrus ruber. Surprisingly it was actually in the town of Exmouth right alongside a busy street. It had been photographed the day before when the two specimens were at their best and looking amazing. See them on Matt's blog here. Matt kindly let me know their exact whereabouts and I was there first thing the next day. As I'd feared I was already too late to see them in all their glory as one of them had already collapsed in the centre they were still pretty spectacular just the same. Much bigger than I'd imagined (about the size of a large grapefruit) and looking like something from an alien movie!
Red Cage - Clathrus ruber.
Red Cage is actually a bit of a boring common name for this bizarre fungus. I much prefer some of the 'descriptive' names it's been given in other parts of Europe, such as Red Lantern, Devil's Grid, Witch's Heart or Witch's Vomit.
Close up showing the bizarre spongy texture and the green slime (or gleba) on the inside of the lattice, which as in other members of the Stinkhorn family exudes a vile smell similar to rotting flesh to attract flies to the spore mass which then carry it off on their feet.