More streaking in Worcs

Today's Thursday streak saw us head back to Morton Stanley Park in Redditch where we had recorded eggs for the first time last winter.  The main aim of the visit was to undertake a blackthorn survey of the park and feed in management recommendations to the site owners Redditch Council but, of course, we couldn't resist searching for eggs at the same time.  The park contains considerable amounts of blackthorn but much of it has not been managed for many years and is now generally too over-mature to be ideal for egglaying.  So really a place with considerable potential which could benefit hugely from rotational management of the blackthorn scrub.  Redditch Council, I am pleased to report, are very enthusiastic about the fact that Brown Hairstreaks have started to move in to town and have already agreed to modify their roadside verge management in another area where we have found eggs. 

With the survey pretty well complete and with rainclouds gathering, we were on our way back to the car when a cry of "got one" pulled us up short.  Sure enough, just a few metres north of the car park and adjacent to a park bench and kiddie's play area, one rather old leading shoot of blackthorn contained not one but three eggs.  I often think that searching for Brown Hairstreak eggs is like waiting for buses, nothing for hours then three come at once!  Anyway, result all round and hopefully the confirmation of breeding success in the park for the second successive year will encourage further the Council to begin to manage some of the stands of blackthorn with the butterfly in mind.

This coming Saturday, 24th November sees our first egg count of the hedges around Grafton Wood meeting at Grafton Flyford church for 10 am.  This will be our 43rd year of egg counts at this location making it almost certainly the longest running monitoring survey undertaken in any UK butterfly.  New faces are always welcome so if anyone fancies a trip up (or down) to Worcs this weekend they would be very welcome.   


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