There are about six white Fallow deer in the forest. They are not albinos, but one of the colour variants, the others being common, menil and black. This buck is 9 years old and is one of the master bucks of Wyre. He held a rutting stand in the forest last autumn. Bucks cast their antlers in the spring and the new antlers are in velvet and just starting to grow. They will reach full size in time for the rut in September.
It has been a long cool Spring and the emergence of many aquatic invertebrates has been delayed. The Club-tailed Dragonfly or Common Club-tail (Gomphus vulgatissimus) can emerge any time between the 1st May to the end of May; this year, like last, emergence has been late (20th May). Heavy rain two weeks ago also delayed matters as the river temperature drops during the period of high flows.
The male flowers of our 2 native oak trees, English Oak Quercus robur and Sessile Oak Quercus petraea, hang down in slim catkins. The female flowers are harder to spot, but they occur at the tip of the shoots. They are stalked in English Oak and stalkless in Sessile Oak. The photograph show the developing catkins in English Oak, photographed down by the River Severn south of Bewdley.
A walk on the west side of the River Severn yesterday near the Bewdley bypass resulted in the find of two female Yellow-legged Water-Snipeflies (Atherix ibis). They are impressive flies with their mottled wings and they have interesting breeding behaviour. The females gather together in dense clusters on branches overhanging water where they lay their eggs in a glutinous matrix before dying. The result is a mass of eggs and dead flies suspended from twigs or flood debris.