Let The Egging Commence!

Egg searching in Warwickshire has now officially started! After confirming the presence of a master tree bordering Ryton Wood Meadows (RWM) and Ryton Pools Country Park (RPCP) during this years flight period, i was dying to start searching the blackthorn in the immediate area. The SE facing blackthorn in RPCP was first on the list yesterday and after Simon Primrose and I conducted a thorough search of a small area of young/semi-mature blackthorn, we found 18 eggs, including 1 on the NW facing side. Only 6 eggs in this area last year so this is great news. In fact, i was so pleased, i even performed my happy dance when i was sure no one was looking. We also made a point of pulling down some branches with heights over 3 metres as an experiment to see how high the females might have laid. It turns out that 8 of these eggs were laid at over 2 metres high, including a record breaker for Warwickshire - 2.54m! Does anyone know of any eggs that have been laid higher than this?

So, we're off to a good start! The problem we now face is that there isn't much blackthorn between the area searched yesterday and the next closest area. In which direction would the females have flown? This is usually the point at which us Eggheads start placing bets :)

I also must say a huge thank you to Ben Coleman, Craig Earl and the other rangers/volunteers at Ryton Pools Country Park for all their help, enthusiasm and cooperation over the past year or so. A blackthorn management plan for 2013 is being drawn up as we speak that should help improve future blackthorn distribution and suitablity for our favourite Hairstreak. Quite excited about next year already!


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