January/February 2014

Wood very wet and all streams swollen.  Pictures (top) looking south at bridge over Rowbourne Brook on Blue Trail and (below) looking east  Wet7Feb14 (3) Wet7Feb14 (4)

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St Jude’s Storm 28th October 2013

This widely predicted storm caused plenty of work for the group, blocking many paths and leaving a good deal of clearing up which has taken up many of our recent work parties.

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Butterflies again

This week has been poor for butterfly sightings – a few Speckled Woods – but last week was most unusual. No less than 6 Purple Hairstreaks were observed on the Bridleway transect while early on the 20th, several Purple Hairstreaks were observed at the west end of Middle Way taking in the early morning sunshine. In this shot the sun is catching the irridescent purple patch.

phs

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Heatwave brings out the butterflies

A good week for butterflies in the Wood. Two sightings of White Admiral, one near the School Camp corner and another on the Bridle Path. Also several sightings of Purple Hairstreak. Purple Emperor also at usual location. See butterfly page for some recent pictures.

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Summer’s finally arrived!

After three miserable weeks of recording almost no buterflies at all, suddenly the summer weather has arrived and butterflies are at last emerging. Today, most seen were the three common ‘brown’ butterflies: Meadow Brown, Ringlet and Speckled Wood.

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Speckled Wood

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Ringlet

Meadow Brown

Meadow Brown

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A speckled afternoon

So far I have managed to do the Butterfly Transects each week, trying to find the best afternoon in terms of sunshine and temperature. The following photographs are from last Sunday’s session.

Yellow Speckled MothYellow Speckled Moth on a Bluebell on Middle Way close to the Heather patch.

Small WhiteSmall White Butterfly also enjoying the Bluebells.

Speckled WoodAlong the Bridleway, a Speckled Wood butterfly shows how well it blends into the background.

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Working Parties

With the breeding season upon us, we have not been felling trees. Other work takes centre stage, such as using our new winch to clear away obstructions from the paths and splitting logs for sale.

winchsplitter

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Spring images

Spring has finally arrived, although the wood is taking a long time to dry out. Here are some images taken in recent weeks.

Comma butterfly

IMG_5618s-1200x752Wood Anemone

IMG_5626s-1200x836Lesser Celandine

IMG_5627s-1200x778Violet

IMG_5630s-1200x750Peacock Butterfly

IMG_6102s-1200x722Muntjac (not a bambi, but a bit of a menace in the woods)

IMG_6105s-1200x805Bluebells (note how the leaves have been eaten, see image above for likely culprit)

IMG_6114s-1200x965Blue Tit at nest

IMG_6106s-1200x1018Green-Veined White butterfly

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Winter Images

Once again, I’m rather late in updating this blog, but here are some images from the Wood during the recent cold winter.

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Catch Up

I haven’t posted anything in recent months, so here is a catch-up on activities.

The Dormice monitoring didn’t find any Dormice, unfortunately. But the boxes were found to have been used by insects, birds and a pair of field mice, see above.

In recent months, we have had assistance from the Herts & Middx Wildlife Trust. This has helped considerably with the major project to clear the invasive Sycamore around the Yellow Trail to the east of the Cottage. This will create a more open glade where one can admire the grove of mixed Ash and Oak.

We have also been thinning out the Birch trees in the ‘Heather Glade’ to the north of the car park. Here is Howard bringing down one of the very tall specimens.

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