WWA Wildlife Reports - April 2003

5th April 2003

Butterflies this week - Brimstone, early Comma, Peacock and blue (too far away for ident.) Coot has babies, Red crested pochard is back, being bullied by all the Mallard just because they can. We also have 12 duckling to one female Mallard. Heron on bog pond early each morning. The swans have finally mated, perhaps they will now start building a nest (but taking into account Camilla's woeful performance last year, perhaps not!) Chamomile bench has finally germinated. Despite attention from Heron, Crows and other Mallard drakes, duck still has her 12 babies at weekend.

12th April 2003

Wren nesting in shed, (probably won't survive with killer cat about) and robin nesting under eaves of bird hide. Swans mating away but still no sign of a nest. Ramsons are nearly at their peak flowering. Stitchwort, Green alkanet, Cowslip and Forget-me-not all starting into bloom. Kestrel overflew Weds. Butterflies still flying - Brimstone(s), Peacock, Comma, though haven't seen the Blue since. Coot babies down to ?2, though one may have been lurking, on Sunday. Ducks and babies gone, hope just decamped

19th April 2003

Only one swan comes sailing out to nag for food -- can't see a nest, however. Lots of plantings that have been struggling are burgeoning in the pleasant weather -- Sweet woodruff, Lily Of the valley, Wood anemone, new bits of Great stitchwort; all coming up strongly. Chamomile on bench now producing minute true leaves. Kingfisher fishing from Russo allotment hedge. Saturday all ducklings crechinq in the bog area. Unable to count them all, as they were buzzing about like bumblebees on rocket fuel, but there must have been well over 20. These include one yellow one, so our Aylesbury throwback must have had his wicked way at last. Sheila and Howard report: Long tailed tits nesting in the brambles in the Ver inlet, and swans finally nesting at the bottom of the spit where the willow fell.

26th April 2003

Swans are a thoroughly modern couple - cob spends a lot of time doing incubation duty. Loads of wrens about the site. Ducklings suffering heavy losses, including the children's favourite, the little yellow one. (Hypothermia.) The other predators that have been seen are crow (2) Mallard drake (1) Coot (1) plus forays by Heron and cats. At least our precautions have not let Mink on to site (so far!) Primroses still out, also bluebells, Sweet Woodruff and Red campion. Shall have to dig up the Roman Hyacinths that persist in coming up in the true bluebell area.

Next report (May 2003)