The enlarged photo shows that what originally looked like tiny, dry nodules, are moist little bubbly things!
Caution: Do NOT use iSpot to identify fungi to eat!
Some fungi are very poisonous so a mistaken ID could have serious consequences.
No interactions present.
I discovered similar recently (see http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/303660) and I'm reasonably sure it's the less commonly seen sexual stage of coral spot (Nectria cinnabarina), consisting of red, globose perithecia.
Edit: also encountered by leenestofvipers at http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/228497
I am afraid that I have disagreed with the ID at http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/303660 - which looks like good N. coccinea.
http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/228497 may be the same.
As for the present photos, I am about to put a speculative ID above, but if I am right it is a good find.
Note added in edit: speculative ID now added. As always, typing notes into a tiny little box makes it easy to overlook typos that cannot then be corrected. I really do know how to spell 'perithecia'. (I have even been writing about them today as part of other duties.)
Further note added in edit: in my experience, the sexual stage of N. cinnabarina is nearly always accompanied by its asexual stage. If no little pink cushions present, quite likely NOT N. cinnabarina.
Further, further note added in edit: I see it's bedtime and coral spots don't seem worth staying up any longer for.
So, there is more than one Nectria sp.? ;)
I shouldn't stray too far from lichens.
Pronectria robergei (formerly Nectria robergei) on Peltigera canina group?
Nectriopsis lecanodes (formerly Nectria lecanodes) on Lobaria? Claimed also for Peltigera.
Hmmm, only just noticed that P. robergei is on the P. canina group - I've been looking on the wrong species!
The Nectria on beech was an unplanned diversion but the lichenicolous species you mention are certainly of interest. I'll look more closely at Peltigera from now on (I hardly ever encounter Lobaria). Thanks.
A third species found on Ivy is Nectria sinopica ;-)
All given ID's are subject to error/ommissions. Please seek independent verification before acting on ANY advice given. BE SAFE =)
N. sinopica is a much more yellow colour and with perithecia confined to a stroma.
Many thanks everyone. I seem to have caused a bit of a stir!
It is on on a piece of cut Ivy and amongst other logs in our log pile. Would you like some more photos,and what should I do about AlanS comment " it should be collected and confirmed, as it would be an interesting record" if you thionk it might be Nectria hederae?
Mention of the AFGB raises issues that I am not prepared to discuss.
However, I think it would be better if it were seen by a genuine expert and there is a guy at Kew who is very good on these perithecial fungi. I don't know if he would thank me for giving his name out here, but if you can send a decent sized chunk to me (let it dry thoroughly first!) I can act as a 'filter', having a quick look and probably finding that Nigel has been right all along, but if it still looks like N. hederae, I can send it on to him and see what he thinks. I know him quite well and I have contact with him on other matters.
This way the specimen could end up in the national collection at Kew and the record should filter on into national databases.
My own work postal address is to be found at the foot of the home page if you go to my lichen site, as linked below my signature. Or simply e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I emphasise again that my ID of the photo as N. hederae is speculative.
Contact your local ABFG registered fungus group. Don't know where your based but they should be willing to confirm species. Why not join yourself think its £30 years membership and they provide good support and advise ;-).
sorry AlanS I am only relaying the information I was given by VC9's Recorder to me. I have sent a voucher of Phellodon confluens to Kew myself. I believe its an £80 charge for determining a speculative species.
Lat/Lng: 52.0797, 0.9982
OS grid ref: TM055466