Balls of confusion

These fruiting bodies - about 2mm in diameter - were growing on the trunk of a fallen Beech. I was quite puzzled as to what they were. There are some lichens that have fruiting bodies a bit like these. The fact that they were growing on dead wood pointed to a fungus of some kind.

It turns out they are in fact old fungal fruiting bodies of Hypoxylon fragiforme or other Hypoxylon species. Small pockets (perithecia) can be seen where the spores were produced.

Oct 2015 Update - I think this is more likely to be Diatrype disciformis Get this