Following the failings of 12 successive site visits over the past three weeks to get a close up sighting of a Brownie, Monday 10th September saw the 13th attempt which was also to end in failure. Many of these trips did take place in the afternoon which seems to prove the point that adults are most likely to be seen in the morning, although some sightings at the top of Ash trees have been made in the late afternoon/early evening around 5pm.
Following the latest disappointment, I resorted to egg searching at a site near Shurnock which last year produced a fantasatic result of around 300 being found. On Monday, I started at one of the Master Trees and worked along the main hedgerow for a distance of some 400 yards (I don't do metric). Surprisingly, no eggs were found near to the Master Tree but two were found on separate blackthorn suckers some 200 yards away. The remainder of that search failed to reveal any further eggs, but it is still very early.
Crossing over to the opposite hedgerow in an adjoning field which contains another Master Tree, two further eggs were found. These were on two separate and isolated blackthorn suckers, again well away from the Master Tree.
Questions that puzzle me:
- Will the female Brownie continue to egg lay in cool and cloudy conditions or will she remain buried in the hedgerow until the weather improves, assuming she does not fly back to the top of the Ash tree due to her body not being sufficiently warm enough to fly anyway?
- Does the female mate more than once and how many eggs roughly does she lay after she has mated?