Sunday, 15 May 2022
Monday, 9 May 2022
I've never seen bird ringing close up, so was thrilled to spot this event at Fordhall Farm, Market Drayton. The birds caught were a male blackcap, a dunnock and a chiffchaff. Each bird was examined to see the ring number, which was then recorded, and in the case of the chiffchaff, a ring applied to the leg. The wings were examined and measured and the bird was weighed. Because these birds are handled by experts, they suffer minimal stress and fly away merrily after they've been released. Bird ringing and recording is an important way for conservationists and ecologists to keep track of how each species is doing. It was also nice to see children there, and how excited they were at being so close to birds.
Saturday, 7 May 2022
I was lucky enough to meet a butterfly expert who's been involved in improving habitat on the heath. He told me he was going to check for the caterpillars of the rare Silver Studded Blue butterfly, and did I want to see? We were looking out for where ants swarmed in the heather as they milked the little caterpillars. So, by searching for clumps of ants, we soon found our target. It was really interesting because, although I've seen thousands of the adult butterflies, I've never ever seen their larval stage.
Friday, 6 May 2022
Tuesday, 3 May 2022
Jay ready for take-off, and green hairstreak butterfly.
Above, a rare wood white butterfly. They are very small. Below, the more common green-veined white.