Winter or Spring?
Thursday, April 13th 2023
It was yet another cold day, although the sun did shine and there was a little bit of blue sky. This area of Willow Carr looks rather bare at the minute but with a little more sun and warmth it will soon green over.
The moth traps yielded very few moths, which is not surprising as the overnight temperatures were very low. Butterfly transects should be carried out from the start of April. Unfortunately this has not been possible due to the weather and so far very few have been recorded on the observation board.
Walking along the incorrectly named Syacamore Avenue - Norway Maple Avenue does not quite have the same ring to it! Norway Maple is in flower. It is a delicate flower.
Being curious I looked at other parts of this branch and could not decide if this was the green bud or where a flower had been blown off. On a closer inspection I realised it was full of insects! It is not a very good photo but it does show at least three species of insects.
Whilst we are not recording butterflies the bird ringers in Gibraltar have spotted this beautiful one, a Spanish Festoon. Its distribution in Europe is confined to southern France, Spain and Portugal, whilst its southern range can extend into the northern countries of Africa. The larvae feed on a plant called Dutchman's Pipe, Aristolochia baetica.
It was too windy for ringing over the last couple of days so eyes have turned skywards, watching the many birds flying over. Long distance photos caught this Griffon Vulture,
and this Egyptian Vulture.
Volunteers have been busy identifying moths, checking the butterfly transect, making information cards about Foxglove and adding to the sales table. Outside they have been filling bird feeders, checking for any damage after the strong winds and removing some of the screen to the wetland hide that had become unstable due to the weather it has suffered over the last 12 years. (It can be bleak up there even in summer!) A huge thank you to everyone, your work is really appreciated.
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