Rushbeds Wood Egg Search

Dave Wilton led our latest organised UTB egg search at Rushbeds Wood here in Bucks yesterday Sunday 15th Dec 2013. This is a well established site and with its adjacent Laplands Farm reserve holds a strong colony of BrH. A team of 12 tackled an approximate 400 yards of hedgerow locating 75 eggs in 90 minutes. Dave felt this result was 'about average' for the location over recent years. This successful count contrasts with my difficulty in locating adults here in 2013 - both on several of the regularly occupied 'assembly trees' and indeed on the excellent stretches of blackthorn hedgerows which are abundant particularly at the Laplands Farm end of the site. Perhaps significant numbers of  BrH females on their characteristic sedentary perches have had the last laugh at my expense this year, in seemingly producing an abundance of eggs without showing themselves, in readiness for next year? Time will tell?

First 2013 Sussex Eggs

This afternoon (3rd December) I went walking on the downs around Chanctonbury Ring, parking at Washington and walking up through the disused chalk pits. The briefest of searches located my first Brown Hairstreak eggs of the winter, only a couple of hundred metres from the car park. I've always found them here in previous years, but it usually requires some effort to locate just one or two. Today I found 7 in under five minutes, including 2 pairs. It's too early to draw any conclusions yet, but this does look quite promising for a good 2013 crop.
After reaching the Ring I soon found my target for the afternoon, a handsome Great Grey Shrike.