Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Feckenham update

Following our winter brown hairstreak egg count, and still wallowing in the sucess of our first 14 eggs last year, we were slightly disappointed to find just 7 this time. All of these were on the new short suckers that had grown since we cleared the area two years ago. We think that the reduced number is due to a significant amount of 'fresh' lichen growing in the crevices where the eggs are laid on the blackthorn this winter after what was a relatively damp 2010. We will be doing quite a lot of work to rectify this by coppicing the old blackthorn in the same area where the new eggs were found as well as on the other side of the reserve, to see if this encourages more egg laying. This work will be done in August before the new laying season begins. New suckers won't have grown until next year or the year after but we do need to manage this on a rotation basis for the benefit of the butterflies now we have them on site.We also hope to locate an 'assebly' tree this year.

Work on pollarding our big old 'crack' willows is well under way and although this will change our skyline they really did need attention. Many had split already and were leaning on other trees with some overhanging branches that would inevitably come down in strong winds. The work will ensure that these trees do not disappear. We have left some excellent owl and bat habitat together with the old woodpecker holes. Last Wednesday we had an excellent sighting of a rather scruffy tawny owl. It came out of a crack in one of the old ash trees and flew within a few feet of us at shoulder height along the ditch line. 

Finally, I've noticed that there are no comments on the blog.  So, here is something to stimulate your brain cells. What is this photograph of? There are no prizes but it will prove that someone out there is reading....!

Paul, Feckenham Wylde Moor


  1. I'm looking forward to a first visit to Feckenham tomorrow at the Open Day, so I'm really pleased to see this posting and to learn a bit about the site. Have no idea what the photo is; maybe I'll have more of a clue after tomorrow ...?

  2. Looks like a shag pile carpet or a thatched roof. Can't think why either would be anything to do with Feckenham though!

  3. Dead moss?

    Sheep's wool in the evening sunshine?

    Seems so familiar that I guess we'll all say 'Of course, I knew that!' when you tell us.

    Great blog with some excellent photos - I need to visit soon!

  4. Is it a bale of hay?

  5. It was a bullrush - check here for the rest of the photo http://worcestershirewildlifetrust.blogspot.com/2011/02/feckenhams-mystery-picture-revealed.h