BSNHS

©BSNHS 2014

These little birds are busy making their nests this month. They choose what is often quite a low-down place in a bush or bramble thicket. It might be thought that the nest would be really obvious as it is about coconut sized and there is very little leaf to hide the nest. What the birds do is to disguise it by collecting fragments of lichen which make an excellent job of camouflaging the nest in fact of making it quite difficult to find. Later on it will be lined with hundreds of soft feathers and is constructed to be elastic in nature to expand as the chicks grow.

Badger cubs have now emerged from the same sett where the adults were photographed in March. These cubs seem to be very large for this time of year. Normally they would be expected to emerge at the beginning of May and in previous years they have been seen to be usually still very small and not very adventurous. Maybe it is a symptom of the non-Winter that we have had although reproduction in the badger is strongly geared to day length- or so it is thought! Please follow the you Tube link where you can see some film of these same badger cubs.

The Hebrew Character Moth has been turning up regularly in light traps this month. What wonderful names these moths have! This one is so-called because of the mark on the forewings which is said to resemble the character in the Hebrew alphabet Nun.

WILD CHERRY or GEAN Prunus avium belonging to the ROSACEAE family.

A common native tree of woods and hedgerows. Leaves are alternate, flowers with five petals, five sepals and a solitary style. The white flowers appear before the leaves-mid April to May and are pollinated by a variety of insects including butterflies and flies. The flowers appear blue-green to bees, being insect pollinated the pollen is less abundant.

Birds especially tits may take nectar from the flowers. Ripe fruits are some birds favourite, dispersed seed remain dormant for a year before germinating. 'Witches brooms'(heavy abnormal growth of twig proliferation) are caused by the fungus Taphrina, showing in the winter canopy. Most of the Japanese cherries grown in Britain are grafted on wild cherry root stock.

This moss has been found at Thorley Wash and is producing large numbers of characteristic spore capsules. The moss is called Physcomitrium pyriforme-no common name unfortunately. It is typical of open areas of wet mud which it can rapidly colonise. Thanks to AS for this record.

March

The adult takes nectar from sallow and the Caterpillar feeds on a variety of low growing plants such as dandelions and docks.

Cuckoos should be arriving here about now, one has been heard at Pishiobury last week. We always worry if they are going to come back again and it would be such a shame if we lost this iconic bird from our springtime. It will have travelled a long way to get here including what is almost certainly a non-stop 3000 km flight from the Equator to North Africa. It gives its name to the Cuckoo Flower, Cuckoo Pint and Cuckoo Spit. Follow the link below to see the migration monitored by the BTO.

Cuckoo Tracking Badger Cubs

Long-Tailed Tit

Moss of the Month

Keep an ear cocked for the Cuckoo

Hebrew Character Moth

Tree of the month

Badgers in April

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