What are these fungi I found on a dead birch? Initially, I thought perhaps artist's bracket or southern bracket, but now I think they might be horses hoof fungus? I'm not very knowledgeable about this sort of stuff so I could be well off.
I'm in lowland Scotland and, they were on the same tree though there was a darker bracket on a log that was on the ground right next to it. I was looking for cramp ball fungus and all I could find until these was wood-ear on some old dead elder.
The ones I touched were hard but I didn't try to get up to the ones on the tree, there was a swarm of beasties about and my dinner was enough protein for my tastes. The tree was split just below the half way point and was abundant. Some were greyer/browner on top and others were mainly white from bottom through to a thin top of pale brown/grey.
ps. sorry, I know the pictures are rubbish!
I had a few more photos, I edited the colour values on one of them to make it less bright and the other I'll just upload. You can see the trees state and its abundance clearly at least, if nothing else... and I also show in this second update the black fungi.
I went back and collected some, definitely sure it is horses hoof fungus and I'm looking forward to processing some amadou from it. Any ideas of uses for the spore tubes? They are quite sturdy and apparently they are parasitic and can cause damage to living trees. They live a long time! I took a few and left the others for some other lucky passerby. Quite tricky to get off the tree though... seemingly if you cut free the trama layer, which is sort of like cork or suede, on the outer of the tubes, then let it soak in a mixture of water and ash, before boiling for an hour or so, then gently beating the material to loosen the fibers, you end up with a material that is great for taking a spark from flint/steel or ferro rod, and can smoulder for quite a long time, so you could use it to carry fire with you if you didn't have modern conveniences. Quite a cool fungus!
Thanks to everyone who helped out!