Monday, July 18, 2011

Latest Doings

Sadly, I've had to go back to work, though that is somewhat eased by the fact that the weather has collapsed...

However, this week is crucial for egg laying, and the females desperately need some decent weather to get on with the all-important task of egg laying, to ensure a better iris season next year. At present, a low number of eggs has been laid at most sites, and one of the reasons why this season has been so poor (in terms of adult numbers) is because too few eggs were laid last July. (It is probable that this poor June was actually more damaging, but it's still a little premature to decide on that).

Females are still going strong at most localities, or should be ... Much depends on how well they can sit out the current poor weather, and make the most of narrow and sudden windows of opportunity for laying eggs.

Males will now be in decline, though they were still going quite nicely in Alice Holt Forest last Friday (15th). They may go over rapidly in this weather... .

Here's a nice male seen in Fermyn Woods at the start of the month -


Anonymous said...

Any thoughts on how much the low numbers at AH is down to the weather, and how much due to the FC cutting the sallows last year?

Matthew Oates said...

The main breeding ground in Straits Inclosure was virtually clear-felled in Feb 2010. Numbers in Straits were actually a bit better than I feared both last year and this, though hugely reduced from 09 levels. Sallows have also been felled in Abbots Wood Inclosure, but I don't think that's made much impact. To be honest, numbers in Alice Holt overall are not too poor this year -probably 'average' or a bit below.

Anonymous said...

Good to hear. Reports on this blog from other sites have implied that they are happy to lay on quite young sallow, so maybe the age of the trees represents a preference rather than a necessity and the AH females simply accepted second best.