Reluctantly we decided to cancel the scheduled December work party on Roman Road. Like many parts of the Midlands, we had about 20 winters’ worth of snowfall which started on Thursday night 7 December and continued on and off over the weekend. The schools were closed, giving our local children the chance to enjoy the wonders of snow. The cold temperatures have meant that the snow and ice is still hanging around a week later, rendering footpaths treacherous. Consequently, even with the thaw mid-week, it seemed that we would not be able to achieve very much. Additionally, Dudley Council staff were kept busy dealing with fallen trees and consequences of the heavy snow. We hope to arrange an additional work party in the New Year to compensate.
Prior to this, three of us met up half way along the bridle path, to try and find White Letter Hairstreak eggs. Using the excellent “Butterflies of the West Midlands” as our guide on where and what to look for, we started by studying new growth on the elm hedge-row which stretches at least 1km along the bridle path.
The above photo is a panorama taken with my phone – the hedge in the foreground is a straight line rather than a right angled bend – just the nature of this type of photo. You can see that the hedge is maintained with regular cuts by contractors arranged by the local landowner of the fields alongside. White Letter Hairstreak has been recorded in the area but it is not known if this was an adult in transit or evidence of a breeding population.
Unfortunately we did not manage to find any WLH eggs although Andy did manage to find 2 examples of a bubble shaped egg. These remain unidentified so if anyone has any ideas ? ……
Above photos courtesy of Andy Barker. We will continue to search.
We also managed to find further types of fungi – again photos taken by Andy Barker.
Not much else to report so here are a few more photos of the snow …
The chestnut copse adjoining the Roman Road bridle path.