Wildlife Conservation Group in the

Forest of Dean


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24 September 2019

Great Palescot, Middleridge Inclosure

Grid Ref SO64291154

This was a day to visit a new site which was a long drive through the forest and deep in the middle far from Mallards Pike. The site had been coppiced a few years ago but had now become dense with birch, bracken and young fir trees. We found a couple of ponds there although they were relatively dry after the summer heat. We took down a lot of the birch and fir and built windrow brash hedges for reptile cover.

This Common Lizard was seen on a tree while we were working which is a good sign of reptile inhabitance. The weather was still fairly warm although we did get drenched with heavy rain.

It is found across many habitats, including heathland, moorland, woodland and grassland, where it can be seen basking in sunny spots. Also known as the 'viviparous lizard', the common lizard is unusual among reptiles as it incubates its eggs inside its body and 'gives birth' to live young rather than laying eggs. Adults emerge from hibernation in spring, mating in April and May, and producing three to eleven young in July

This is a windrow of the cut branches As it rots it provides enough heat for hibernating reptiles.

We found this old Song Thrush nest which was beautifully made.

The nest tends to be well concealed and in locations such as against the trunk of a tree with plenty of cover round it, or even in an old building. The female Song Thrush builds the nest alone, which consists of grasses, twigs, moss and roots, then lined with mud to form a neat cup. There are two, sometimes three, broods per season of 4-5 eggs which the female mainly broods alone. Both parents feed and tend the young, which leave the nest after twelve to fifteen days.