An eggs-travaganza!

The Easter holidays are in full swing and we’ve had an eggs-tra busy week embracing all things egg! We began the week with Wildlife Tots on Monday followed by two Wild Days Out, and spent our time gathering materials and building nests for some of our more cuddly feathered friends, egg decorating, egg rolling, egg eating and egg dyeing, all using hard boiled eggs of course!

Nest making for some of our cuddly bird friends

Nest making for some of our cuddly bird friends

Egg rolling, or hurling!

Egg rolling, or hurling!

Decorated egg after surviving a roll, with the cracks beginning to show!

Decorated egg after surviving a roll, with the cracks beginning to show!

Egg eating... it would be a shame to waste them...

Egg eating… it would be a shame to waste them…

After the fun of egg rolling, we collected lots of gorse flowers so we could have a go at dying some more hard boiled eggs over the campfire.

Gorse flower collecting

Gorse flower collecting

Our red cabbage and gorse flower dye

Our red cabbage and gorse flower dye

The dyes worked brilliantly, although those that went in the pink looking red cabbage dye did come out rather blue!

Thursday saw a number of families venture along to Copythorne Common for a morning of family Forest School fun. They had a go at making wooden disc necklaces, before getting more adventurous with wooden Easter chicks.

Sawing wood in preparation for bird making

Sawing wood in preparation for bird making

Two finished and decorated wooden chicks!

Two finished and decorated wooden chicks!

Everyone had a go at fire lighting, before taking it in turns to have a go at lighting our campfire which was used for cooking popcorn and of course, as we had eggs left over, more egg dying with gorse flowers.

Having a go at fire lighting

Having a go at fire lighting

Having a go at lighting the main fire, in preparation for popcorn and more egg dying

Having a go at lighting the main fire, in preparation for popcorn and more egg dying

Jim and I were both caught out by a brief April shower whilst unlocking the hides on Friday morning, but luckily this didn’t last long and the sunshine we’ve been enjoying all week quickly returned. The violets near to the Woodland hide are now flowering, adding a splash of purple to the woodland floor along with the ground ivy. They seemed happier with the rain than the heron hunched up below!

Violets just past the Woodland Hide

Violets just past the Woodland Hide

April showers

April shower

The light trap has attracted a large number of Hebrew character and Common quaker moths over the week, along with a couple of other species including this Brindled beauty and Lunar marbled brown moth:

Brindled beauty moth

Brindled beauty moth

Lunar marbled brown moth

Lunar marbled brown moth

This morning was spent searching for creepy crawlies before making stick insects from willow. With the exception of ground beetles and a brief glimpse of a butterfly, we didn’t find many insects but instead spotted a frog, about 12 juvenile newts which had been overwintering under logs, a couple of snails, lots of woodlice, a couple of centipedes and this rather lovely snake millipede.

Snake millipede

Snake millipede

We then set about creating creatures from willow, including the stick dragonfly, butterfly and snail below. They photograph better against a nice blue sky!

Stick dragonfly

Stick dragonfly

Stick butterfly and snail

Stick butterfly and snail

Thanks too for all the photos you’ve emailed across over the week. Here are a selection sent in by Geoff Miller, Pete Mitchelmore, Paul Warren and Paul Winter.

Peacock butterfly by Geoff Miller

Peacock butterfly by Geoff Miller

Brambling on feeder by Pete Mitchelmore

Brambling on feeder by Pete Mitchelmore

Long tailed duck by Paul Warren

Long tailed duck by Paul Warren

Pied wagtail by Paul Winter

Pied wagtail by Paul Winter

Redshank by Ibsley Water, by Paul Winter

Redshank by Ibsley Water, by Paul Winter

Common sandpiper by Ibsley Water, by Paul Winter

Common sandpiper by Ibsley Water, by Paul Winter

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