Early August in the forest
Bill junior is lighter in colour than his father
Bill and Beatrice Crow daily demand their biscuits. Bill is still the more confident bird and comes down from the tree immediately he spots that a biscuit has been thrown for him. The two young have been reduced to one, a very noisy and insistent bird that follows Bill to the ground, not to pick up the food but to squawk to be fed. Bill flies off and the youngster follows.
Frodo, Buster, Tia, Foxy, Janice, Gus, Bertie, Jenna
We decided to visit some of the ponds we’ve seen from a distance. Since the fire of May 2011 that destroyed so many trees the Forestry Commission has worked hard to clear and replant, helped by local volunteers.
Buster, Bertie, Gus
New ponds have been dug and are full at the moment, a magnet for water-loving dogs.
In the distance you can see the Tuley tubes, protective tree sleeves to defend young saplings from foraging herbivores. They also accelerate growth because they act as a miniature greenhouse and channel growth into the main stem and roots. 60000 trees have been planted and are growing strongly.
Gatekeeper or Hedge Brown (Pyronia tithonus)
On our way back from our walk yesterday Barry spotted this butterfly. It is a Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus) or Hedge Brown and flies from mid-July to the end of August. It is common and widespread in the southern half of Britain and is gradually increasing its range northwards. This is a female – the male has a dark patch on his forewing that marks an area of scales (androconia) that produce scent to attract females.
It is known as the Gatekeeper because it is often found among flowers and grasses near field gates. Its alternative name indicates that it frequents hedges and the edges of fields.