Red admiralI did the Lark Rise butterfly transect this afternoon, even warmer and more butterflies than last week, including my first red admiral of the year and three green-veined whites which were not present last week. As the warm spring looks set to continue, we can expect a very rapid increase in species emerging. A total of 20 butterflies of six species in the second week of April is well above the average; some years it is a struggle to find a single butterfly at this time of year.

Lapwing I spent a bit more time on the farm afterwards, trying to work out what is going on with the lapwings. There is still a second female on the scene, the original female is still on her nest and the one male is still there and chasing off any crows that come near. It looked like female two might have been sat on a nest, but a search of the area did not reveal it; it’s possible she is just trying out a few spots to see what the vantage points are like and how good they might be as potential sites.

Short eared owl and corvid At one point during my watch, I heard a cacophony from the local jackdaws, and looked up to see them haranguing a short-eared owl! After going out last night and not finding any owls, it was a surprise to see one in the heat of the afternoon! No doubt this was a bird on its migration, and happened to enter Lark Rise airspace where it was met with a hostile reception from the jackdaws – they escorted it off the premises!

I was pleased that the second female has remained interested in the nesting area, as during last night’s walk I came across another pair of lapwings, these were at the early stages of courtship, so it was possible that the new female was part of that pair now, but no, it seems like there are five Lapwings in the parish, nesting in two different areas. Plenty of eggs for Easter we hope!

Dr Vince Lea
Head of Wildlife Monitoring 

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