Thursday, 24 April 2014

It's all hatching out at Feckenham Wylde Moor

Our brown hairstreak eggs have almost all hatched and according to previous records ours are the earliest recorded in Worcestershire. I also managed to find a couple of caterpillars however many of the eggs have hatched before there is any blackthorn leaf opening so we don't know how many have survived or been predated. We are hoping to find more in the next week or so. It may be possible that a species of small spider that is prevalent on the blackthorn could predate on the very small caterpillar. 

The small caterpillar below, burrowing into the leaf bud isn't a brown hairstreak, we think it might be one of the sawflies but await ID from an expert.

We also had a green-brindled crescent moth hatch...

...and our first orange tip eggs have been found on this lady's smock bud.

I also recorded our first Damselfly of the year, a nice bright Large red, which is also quite early.

The first brood of mallard chicks have hatched and there were 14 but we did have a visit from mink and so there may be less in the next weeks, however there is a mother sitting on a nest on the front island so hopefully they will be ok.
Our coots are still in mating mode and displaying. They are also being very aggressive to one another so it may be that they don't nest unless one pair move off, they don't like competition. Little grebe have disappeared but may well be back and our pair of grey lag are still around. They laid a couple of eggs but did not tend them and so they were predated.

We have suffered roe deer damage to a number of blackthorn suckers and as many will know deer damage is becoming a concern as it can kill young saplings.

Cowslips are now in full bloom and the meadows are looking healthy.

Paul, Feckenham Wylde Moor

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