Mike Williams, Jenny Tonry, Hugh Glennie and myself met as usual on Thurs 3rd Jan to go ‘streaking’ in the Worcestershire countryside.
Our plan on this particular Thursday was to search an area on the outside perimeter of a wood that lies close to the east of Grafton Wood, where BH eggs had never previously been recorded. (Last winter we had searched almost the entire perimeter of this wood but had found almost no suitable blackthorn and no eggs. On that day though, heavy rain had then curtailed our search just before we had reached the section of the perimeter that - unbeknown to us at the time - supported a reasonable amount of potentially suitable young blackthorn growth).
We therefore began our search on Thursday morning in this promising area. After a lot of detailed searching we eventually recorded some eggs on the western side, including a double. Only two hedgerows link this wood to Grafton - one to the southwest, and one to the northwest close to where these new eggs had been found. A theory was then put forward that the female BH that had laid the eggs we had just found, would have had to have found its way there by following this nearby hedgerow all the way from Grafton Wood. If that theory was to be proved correct then it seemed a reasonable assumption that we should find at least some eggs along the length of this ‘linking hedgerow’. We therefore began that search.
We did indeed record small but steady numbers of eggs along the entire length of this hedgerow up to the point it joined Grafton Wood, thereby (according to me at least!!) proving the theory J In total, we found about 40 eggs in this area including a treble and a double separated by only about a centimetre – i.e. almost a ‘fiv-er’!!
In the afternoon we met the ‘Footpath Warden’ for the nearby (and delightfully named)
She had invited us to come and search some footpath hedgerows that came under
her jurisdiction and that were due for fairly imminent management. The idea
being that we could both identify eggs that could thus be saved from the chop
and, also provide specific advice on the best type of hedgerow management to
adopt for these particular hedgerows. This search also proved very rewarding
with the discovery of about 25 eggs. village of Upton Snodsbury