Orange-tip butterfly emergence

The first image shows the chrysalis ready to split – you can already see the orange colour of the wings through the transparent casing. 

In the second image, the butterfly is free, but its wings are tiny and floppy.

In the next two images the wings are gradually expanded by liquid pumped through the veins, which then solidifies to make the wings rigid and capable of flight.

Then it’s up, up and away to mate, lay eggs and produce the caterpillars of the next generation.’

 

The pretty little Orange-tip butterfly is one of the first to emerge each Spring, and from mid-April they can be seen all over the Commons. The process of a caterpillar turning into a chrysalis and then into a butterfly is one of the miracles of the natural world, but rarely seen, as it happens in secret, and usually very early in the morning. However, it can occasionally be captured on camera, and the images above show something of how it works. It takes about 30 minutes for the butterfly to escape from its chrysalis and pump up its wings ready for flight.

News from BORG

Here is some news that BORG (Bucks Owl & Raptor Group) has sent out by newsletter. In May Tawny owlets were found in one of the nesting boxes on the Commons and were ringed.

Latest Figures on Ringing 2017
Just to let you know how the group has done in the field RINGING up to 4th August.

BARN OWLS 96
KESTRELS 38
TAWNY OWLS 21
LITTLE OWLS 3

The numbers above show that overall its been a good season for Tawny Owls, poor for Kestrels and very poor for Little Owls.

Barn Owl numbers are 24 below less than last year but their season is still active.

Tawny owlets - new arrivals

Great to find Tawny chicks in the Barn Owl box on the common. Tawnies leave the nest very young; they leave before fledging and sit around in the tree so another few days and we might have missed them. We were lucky to catch them at just the right age for ringing. Thanks to BORG for monitoring our owl boxes.

 

 

 

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Tree Works - Rays Hills

Many apologies for not letting everyone know that we are having to do yet more tree works on Rays Hill. Part of the works have been done over the last two days and the rest is scheduled for next week as long as the cherry picker gets here on time.  I really hope this is the last work needed up there for the foreseeable future but when the tree surveys are done I have no choice but to deal with anything that could cause a danger on the road.

Several people have asked how to tell where the boundary of the common meets their property.  If you have a hedge, anything in that line belongs to you not the common. The original commons registration documents state that hedges are not meant to be included. It makes sense as Commons were not meant to be enclosed.  Christine Stott.