Friday, 30 April 2010

All's good at Feckenham

Our cuckoo arrived on the 18th of this month and soon after there were two. We had two last year for the first time and so the fact that they are both back, assuming they are the same ones, is great news. I watched this one flying from post to post along the fence to the left of the main pool before it flew away across the reserve towards the Mouch.

Our first grass snake was seen on the 28th in the usual place and it stayed still for long enough to get some nice shots.

At least two of our brown hairstreak eggs have 'hatched'. I have spent some time searching for the larvae but to date nothing. It could be anywhere as apparently they can be quite mobile before they find a suitable leaf. The clever trick is to find a pupa - which if I do will be a huge bonus. The only problem is that only being on site once a week it is going to be pot luck.

Spring visitors have arrived and joining the chiff chaffs are reed warblers and a grasshopper warbler singing just above me in a large blackthorn on Wednesday. Later in the day there was a lesser whitethroat singing. A blackcap and house martin were seen the week before so things are certainly starting to happen now the warmer days are here.

There are great numbers of orange tip butterflies and the lady's smock is more abundant than last year. The ragged robin is well advanced and the spotted orchid leaves are showing now.

Everything is looking excellent!

Paul, Feckenham Wylde Moor

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Duckling at Upton Warren

Not sure about anywhere else but this is the first duckling I've seen this year at Upton (on the sailing pool yesterday afternoon).

Stuart, Upton Warren

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Grasshopper Warblers at Ipsley

Early yesterday morning I heard three Grasshopper Warblers singing in the area around the boardwalk at Ipsley Alders; lets hope they remain and breed.

If you're visiting Ipsley please remember to keep to the pathways and boardwalks to limit disturbance. The birds are often easy to hear but rarely seen (they do sound like loud grasshoppers)! They nest low to the ground and could be disturbed by walking off the pathways.

Michael, Ipsley Alders

(photo by Mark Hancox)

Thursday, 8 April 2010


Our first greenshank of the year was on the Moors yesterday.

Stuart, Upton Warren

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Spring at Feckenham

Now that Spring is finally springing, although in the last few days it looks like it's going backwards, I thought I'd tell you what is happening at FWM since the excitement of the Slavonian grebe.

The coltsfoot is now in full flower with significantly more than last year in front of the pool hide. There were large numbers of noisy hoverflies (Eristalis pertinax) feeding on these flowers and I found this one keeping guard on the hide door.

Our resident coot is still being its agressive self and has been chasing off another coot which would like to muscle in on its patch.

There are a number of large frogs in the main pool 'croaking' and swimming around. The colour of our frogs varies considerably around the reserve depending on the colour of the ground. Where the peat is black they blend in and are often difficult to spot. What we really would like to see are our elusive toads. No evidence of spawn has been seen for some years and the numbers are probably lower than ever before. One of the contributing factors could be the heron who visits regularly and has been seen catching them from the pooside in the past. We will still keep an eye open again this year for spawn.

Still plenty of deer tracks, both roe and muntjac, and I have found a large number of fresh barn owl pellets under their tree. There was also a fresh pellet under the big crack willow on the northern path (I have yet to dissect a random sample of these and record the contents). Now that the lighter evenings are here I plan to stay late, hopefully, to catch sight of them over the reserve.

Paul, Feckenham