|Pheasant at NT Ickworth, Suffolk, 4 January 2016|
Happy New Year!
We were wandering through the delightful grounds at NT Ickworth, looking for early signs of spring, when our eyes alighted on this strange object on a beech twig. You can see the beech buds at the end of the branches, but what is the strange white bundle?
While I am intrigued by a mystery, I am also curious enough to enjoy the satisfaction of finding the answer, often with a little help from my friends! So please drop a line in the comments or on my @coastcard twitter account if you can help.
It may be just a decaying leaf, but we suspect it may be an overwintering pupa or cocoon of some sort.
I note incidentally that there are lepidoptera like the barred Hook-tip moth (Watsonalla contraria) which sandwich their pupa between two beech leaves.
I am reminded that the term marcescence refers to leaves (like many beech leaves) that dry up but do not fall off in the autumn.
May 2016 bring many more wildlife mysteries and wonders to our attention!