Sunday, May 11, 2008

I know it's been a while but it really is such a busy time at Scrag at the moment. Sadly, the bluebells are finished for another year, all the same, the tracks and rides are looking great at the moment with lots of thick green vegetation along the sides; garlic mustard, nettles, common dog's violet - all great larval foodplants for woodland butterflies. This spell of superb weather has brought out a lot of the butterflies which I think were badly hit with the cold, wet March and April. So, now there are plenty of orange-tips and one of my favourites the speckled wood, which are territorial, spiralling up in the woodland glades. There are also, large whites, green-veined whites and commas and it's making me excited about seeing the white admirals and silver-washed fritillaries but that will be another month or so.
The badger cubs are proving great entertainment and one even rummaged around in the bluebells just 5m from a group I was leading for Sussex Wildlife Trust. This was the 1st watch I had done for them, so I was pleased it went well. I am very slowly and quietly constructing the viewing platform over-looking the sett. This should make viewing less obtrusive and more comfortable for future groups.
The woodland birds are very active searching out the live prey they need for their young. Many are still sitting on eggs but the blackbird's have hatched young already. It is interesting to note that there are virtually no birds coming to the nut or seed feeders at the moment; they obviously seem to switch to the correct food source when required.
It is easy to spend days at Scrag at the moment and at this time of year it is very difficult to leave, I even had a 'solar' shower the other day which means I can spend even more time there with all mod-cons!!

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