WWA Wildlife Report - April 2002

6 April 2002

Flowers coming out now:- Snowflakes, Alliums, Fritillaries (ducks have decided they don't taste nice after all) Ramsons., Stitchwort, Cowslips, Marsh Marigolds, Alkanet, Herb Paris, some crossbred 'bluebells', Speedwell, plus some of the more pedestrian flowers such as white dead-nettle; all making a fine show, and all equally lovely in their own way. Primroses still out in masses, like bridesmaids' posies crammed with flowers, and ferns are beginning to unfold their 'croziers'. Apple blossom and Cow Parsley just about to pop into blossom in the Orchard. In the clement weather bees and a few butterflies are out -- Speckled Wood, Comma and Peacock Seen on Sunday. Goose and swan still with us, each preventing the other pair from settling down to nest and rear their young. 2 eaten duck eggs found on site. Red crested Pochard not there on Sunday.

13 April 2002

Flowers magnificent. Great starry cushions of Stitchwort, Cowslips galore, and eveything from last week holding their blossom well in the dry weather. Bluebells, Roman Hyacinths, Rams- ons, and the first Yellow Flag also blooming. Only one Canada goose with us at present, but the Red-crested Pochard still on site; being bullied by everything that can swim! Fortunately she can dodge like lightning. We keep finding eaten duck eggs on Site; can only hope it's not Mink. Shall have to have a good look for any proof.

20 April 2002

Sad to say, we have a Mink(s) on Site. About a dozen duck eggs have been found over the last 3 weeks. These latest have been pierced by tiny sharp carnivore teeth, and an inch or so hole broken for a small sharp muzzle to lick out the contents. Shall contact Groundwork and anyone else I can think of for ideas during the coming week. Perhaps can pick their brains as to the horrible Red Signal Crayfish as well. More flowers out -- site is a picture. All the blooms from last week holding well. Duff old apple tree in Orchard has sporadic blooms, first time in years and years. Medlar is going to bloom soon, though it has had to have dieback severely prunes. All three Quinces are in bloom for the first time ever. Oscar has at last managed a proper mating with Camilla. Lots of hoverflies and Sue's bees out in the warmth. Lots of single butterflies tempted out in the warmth -- Orange Tip, Peacock, Brimstone, Speckled Wood, Whites and one Small unidentified Blue, distant and at speed .

27 April 2002

Although driven rain has spoilt a lot of the blossoms, Orchard looks lovely with most of the trees full out. Bluebells, Stitchwort, Cowslips, Alkanet, Ramsons all holding their blooms well. Newly out: White deadnettle, Red Campion, Forget me not, Rowans. Hawthorn will be in bloom by next week. All the leaves are that beautiful new shouting green. Think Canada goose nesting, still only one to be seen most of the time. Oscar and Camilla finally mating enthusiastically, part-completed nest on the spit, opposite side to that which they usually occupy. 4 x baby Coots on Mere, only babies so far this year. Jays on Alban Way and on site. The marching battalions of Convolvulus are on the move still, shall keep at 'em, weather permitting.

Next report (May 2002)