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Thursday, March 18, 2010
We now have 17 wild hibernating larvae left, one of which is shrunken and probably dead. During the first half of March six were lost - presumably all to bird predation. Five of those were on buds and one in a fork. It was disappointing to lose one from a fork, a nice grey larva well tucked in. Some of the surviving larvae have greened up a little more. Methinks a change in the weather cannot come soon enough, to give the birds something else to do, though the predation rate might actually worsen as April approaches. Also the buds need to swell. Two of my larva-bearing sallows are silvering up, and one or two others are thinking about it, but there is basically no sign of spring in the wood at all. It takes me ages to check them now, after having to remove all my markers.