Saturday, July 17, 2010

blog from Matthew, 16th July, posted by Dennis

Today I visited Oversley Wood, Warwicks, a 100ha FC wood where iris was introduced 8 years ago. The population seems to have taken off, though judging by today's sightings (2 old males and 4 largely ragged females) the season may be ending here fast. Last night's gale will certainly have reduced numbers a lot.
The sallow resource here is eminently suitable -- a large amount of shaded old S. X reichardtii hybrids, a good scatter of S. Caprea -- their favourite -- and little in the way of the unfavoured narrow-leaved sallows [rusty sallow]. An unusually high percentage of the sallows have the favoured leaf colour and texture.
One sheltered high point territory, amongst Scots pines.
Good to see a female egg laying before visiting a broken oak bough to feed. The main Doings concerned a courting pair: at 2.10 a female flew past a male on territory on a ride-side oak, a 3 minute courtship flight followed, they nearly joined on a Scots pine before the female suddenly changed her mind -- the minx -- and rejected him, dropped down before ascending into the sallows. My colleagues missed this drama as they'd all shot off down-ride, attracted to the clarion call of 'Camberwell Beauty'. This I chose to ignore, and rightly so as they didn't see the beast!

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