Tuesday 29th June 2010, Trench Wood

Things are all very quite on the bird front at the mo, especially around Shenstone (roll on autumn passage!) so today, myself and TS went to Trench Wood near Droitwich. The reserve is co-managed by Butterfly Conservation and the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust and is a great place to see butterflies during the summer months.

This time of year Trench Wood is a good place to see White Admirals darting along the rides, occasionally stopping to briefly feed on Bramble flowers. During our circuit round we counted no less than 22 White Admirals. Large numbers of Ringlet and Large Skipper were seen, as were reasonable numbers of Meadow Brown. Other butterflies seen were 1 Red Admiral, 1 ♀ Common Blue, 2 Comma, 5 Speckled Wood, 2 Green-veined White & 1 Small White.

There were many Common Spotted Orchids in flower along the rides and central scrub and a single Butterfly Orchid was also seen. A number of damselflies were seen including many Large Red Damselfly. A few Hornets and 2 Harlequin Ladybirds were also seen.

Trench Wood is also good for warblers and during the walk around we heard Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Black Cap and Garden Warbler. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was also heard calling.

Ringlet - Trench Wood 29th June 2010:

Large Red Damselfly - Trench Wood 29th June 2010:

Sunday 27th June 2010, Shenstone

A Red Kite flew south over Captain's Pool late afternoon (TS).

Thursday 23rd June 2010, Grimley (again...)

This evening I popped to Grimley, in Worcestershire, again in search of the elusive Turtle Dove that has been seen sporadically over the past few days. As with Monday's visit, I did all the usual sites and just before I was about to leave the area I saw a small dove sat on wires just as I passed Walton Lane, opposite Grimley Triangle. I turned my car around and drove slowly into the lane, grabbed my bins and focused on the said bird. This time I was lucky, it was indeed a beautiful Turtle Dove with its lovely Rufous and black upper parts being caught by the evening sunlight.

I know I'm being a bit wet with my description but each year there are fewer and fewer of these in there regular Worcestershire strongholds and I'm sure at this rate they will disappear as a breeding bird in the near future...a tragedy in my opinion!

Monday 21st June 2010, Shenstone (evening)

On the evening I popped around the patch and saw the Little Owl perched on a fence post next to Heath Lane Islamic school. I watched the bird for a few minutes and it flew and perched in a nearby tree. A couple of minutes later the Owl flew towards me and landed oon the ground in the paddock literally only about 12 feet away! The bird just watched me but seemed unphased as I started to set up my camera. Right I thought..Im gonna get my best Little Owl photos yet. At that moment, my party was spoilt by a Swallow that started to dive bomb the Owl..after a few seconds of this the owl flew....ah well :-(

Monday 21st July 2010 - Grimley & Monkwood

Today, myself and TS popped to Grimley and Holt in search of the Turtle Dove that had been seen earlier that morning. We went to all the usual Turtle Dove spots but it was to no avail. We then decided to pop into an area known as Grimly Triangle. Whilst in there we saw a ♀ Gadwall with two ducklings and a Kingfisher fishing on the pool there. You know Kingfishers are like buses...you hardly see any and then loads turn up!

After Grimley, we went across to the nearby Butterfly Conservation reserve at Monkwood. During the walk round we saw 2 White Admirals that had now emerged. We also saw good numbers of Large Skipper and Meadow Brown. There were a few Speckled Woods seen as well as a Green-veined White and a Ringlet.

From Monkwood we walked down to the fantastic scrubby/grassland of Monkwood Green and saw a number of both Six-spot Burnet and Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet moths. Ringlets were also present here.

Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet - Monkwood Green, 21st June 2010:

Six-spot Burnet - Monkwood Green, 21st June 2010:


My apologies to all followers of this blog for the lack of input over the past week. Things have been a bit chaotic..broken boilers, car trouble and a little thing called the World Cup...normal service will soon resume.

Saturday 19th June 2010 - Shenstone & Bluntington

There were 40+ Housemartins feeding low over Heath Lane today. A ♀ Kestrel was perched on fence at Heath Lane paddock and 2 Gatekeeper butterflies were also seen there. Near Stone Church, I saw a Hobby fly-over heading toward Harvington.

Afterwards, I went to Bluntington to see if I could hear the Quail that had been found there the previous day by TMH. Bluntington is also in Worcestershire and only about 3 miles from Shenstone as the crow flies. A Couple of times, I was lucky enough to catch the bird singing it's unmistakable 'wet my lips' song. Also whilst along the footpath I saw a number of Skylarks up singing and quite a few Linnets and Yellowhammers perched on the hedgerows.

It is also a very good place for butterflies with lots of varied flora along the footpath. Whilst walking down the path I counted 9 Small Tortoiseshells, 5 Speckled Woods, 4 Small Whites and 2 Silver Y moths.

Small Tortoiseshells, Bluntington 19th June 2010:

Friday 18th June 2010 - Belle Vale, Halesowen

At 8:30 this morning my dad (Stephen Kernohan) had a Red Kite drift over his garden and the neighbouring Hawne Park in Halesowen.

This was a great sighting as Hawne Park used to be a former local patch of mine when I lived in Halesowen. It is a fairly small area of woodland, grassland and scrub that is sandwiched between 3 streets and a football pitch. Running through it is a small brook that joins onto Lutley Gutter. Stand out species that I have recorded there in the past include - Cuckoo, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Willow Tit, Woodcock and a colony of Purple Hairstreak butterflies.

Thursday 17th June 2010 - Shenstone

3 families of Common Whitethroat have successful fledged chicks around Shenstone now. The highlight of this being an adult seen fly catching and feeding 3 juvenile birds in a hedgerow on Heath Lane. A ♂ Reed Bunting was seen at Back Lane, as were a ♀ Kestrel and a Common Buzzard.

A small number of Large Skipper butterflies were seen along Butts Lane, as was a single Small Tortoiseshell. Small White butterflies were more numerous around the area. A Comma and a single Large White was seen along Stanklyn Lane.

Tuesday 15th June 2010, Ribbesford

Today, T S and I went for a walk along the River Severn at Ribbesford, Bewdley. Whilst on the walk we saw a Kingfisher on the river which, believe it or not, is the first one I have seen this year. Numbers of Kingfisher in general do seem to have been affected by the cold winter. Also of interest was a Garden Warbler fledgling seen in a tree with an adult in close proximity contact calling.

There was vast amounts of Comfrey in flower along this stretch which was attracting good numbers of bees. In one area there were 4 Scarlet Tiger Moths fluttering about and in many places Banded Demoiselle damselflies were seen.

Scarlet Tiger Moth, Ribbesford 15th June 2010:

Monday 14th June 2010, Shenstone & Bluntington

A juvenile Green Woodpecker was feeding in the paddocks along Stanklyn Lane this afternoon. A ♀ Great-Spotted Woodpecker flew over Back Lane and landed in trees by Stone Manor. 4 juvenile Wood Pigeons were with a number of adult birds in Heath Lane paddock and good numbers of House Martin were also present. There were also many Skylarks up singing. A ♂

Great Spotted Woodpecker with a juvenile in tow was seen feeding at Captain's Pool for the second day running (TS). Also, the 4 Mute Swan cygnets are still alive and well at the pool (TS).

After visiting Shenstone I popped to Bluntington and walked the public footpath to Woodrow. Whilst walking down the path I flushed a ♂ Grey Partridge that flew across and landed in the adjacent cereal field. There were good numbers of Linnets and Yellowhammers (including juveniles of both species) along this walk and as with Shenstone, the Skylarks were very much in good voice. Along the footpath there were 2 Speckled Wood and 2 Small White Butterflies. A Silver Y Moth and a Hawthorn Shield Bug was also seen.

Friday 11th June 2010, Wyre Forest

Late Morning I did a butterfly walk around the Button Oak side of the Wyre again. Today I saw 3 Pearl-bordered Fritillary, 1 Meadow Brown, 1 Green-veined White and 6 Speckled Wood butterflies. I also saw a Silver Y and a Mother Shipton Moth. Warblers were again in good voice on the circuit round and a Robin was seen flycatching with a beak full of insects, more than likely to feed its young.

Green-viened White, Wyre Forest 11th June 2010:

Thursday 10th June 2010, Shenstone

Today there were more signs of successful breeding around the 'patch', and I saw my first 2 juvenile Swallows were perched on a fence wire along Butts Lane. 2 adult and 3 juvenile Linnets were in Heath Lane paddock and a juvenile Wren was seen on a hedgerow. Also along Heath Lane were 20+ House Martins and 60+ Swifts were flying low over fields and paddocks along Stanklyn Lane.

Wednesday 9th June 2010, Wyre Forest

Today, TS and I did a couple of walks in the Wyre Forest.

The first walk we did was in the Shropshire part of the Forest near the rocket testing site (believe it or not there is a not so secret test facility hidden in the forest!). During the walk around there were good numbers of warblers singing including Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs, Garden Warblers and Willow Warblers. A juvenile Nuthatch was also seen. The main reason for undertaking the walk was for the butterflies and we were not disappointed. A single Wood White was seen, 2 Pearl-bordered Fritillaries, a Large Skipper and a ♀ Common Blue. Good numbers of Speckled Yellow moths were seen as were 4 Silver Y moths.

Afterwards we were in the Worcestershire side of the Wyre and did a walk along the disused railway line. Here we saw 5 Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries and a Dingy Skipper. Large numbers of Chimney Sweeper moth were seen in the meadow at Lodge Hill Farm.

Wood White, Wyre Forest 9th June 2010:

Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Wyre Forest 9th June 2010:

Sunday 6th June 2010, Shenstone

Little Owl seen perched on the boundary fence of Heath Lane Islamic school (TMH). The Mute Swan pair on Captain's Pool have hatched 4 cygnets (TS).

Saturday 5th June 2010, Penny Hill Bank and Monkwood

Today, I returned to Penny Hill Bank with Tony Smith. Again it was a good butterfly day and we saw 2 Green Hairstreak, 2 Brown Argus, 1 Dingy Skipper, 1 Small Copper and lots of Common Blue. Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap were singing from the hedgerows and a ♀ Kestrel perched on the wires above the bank.

Afterwards we popped to the nearby Monkwood reserve. It was fairly quiet here although we did see a ♀ Brimstone, a Small Skipper, Green-veined White and a few Speckled Wood butterflies. A ♂ Broad-bodied Chaser dragonfly was on the pool and a Marsh Tit was heard calling. A Small Copper butterfly and a Silver Y moth were seen at Monkwood Green.

Green Hairstreak - Penny Hill Bank 5th May 2010:
Brown Argus - Penny Hill Bank 5th May 2010:

Broad-bodied Chaser - Monk Wood 5th May 2010:

Friday 4th June 2010, Penny Hill Bank & Grimley

This morning my Bev and I popped to the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust's Penny Hill Bank nature reserve. This is a tiny reserve of grassland/wildflower meadow on a limestone hillside. It is fantastically species rich for such a small area (0.9 hectares)...During our visit we saw Common Spotted, Greater Butterfly and Pyramidal Orchids. As you can imagine, it was great for insects and we saw a number of butterflies including Green Hairstreak, Brown Argus, Dingy Skipper & Common Blue. A Slow Worm was also seen.

Afterwards we popped to Grimley New Workings and saw a Little Ringed Plover with 4 chicks at the north end. 2 Redshank (1 sitting) were also observed. On the main pool islands were 6 Common Tern and an Oystercatcher with a juvenile. Young Coots, Moorhens, Mallards and Canada Geese were also present. Along the causeway were good numbers of Black-tailed Skimmer dragonflies, with the males starting to develop the blue colouration to their abdomens. Also seen was a Silver Y moth.

Thursday 3rd June 2010, Shenstone

The Canada Geese have 5 Goslings on Captain's Pool and the single juvenile Great-crested Grebe seems to be developing well and has started diving. Also present was a juvenile Grey Heron, a ♀ Sparrowhawk flew over the pool and a Chiffchaff was heard singing. There were good numbers of damselflies on the wing, including Banded Demoiselle, Blue-tailed Damselfly & Common Blue Damselfly. The warm sunny weather had caused large numbers of Garden Chafer beetles to emerge. There were also a couple of Green-veined White butterflies along the dam.

Around the lanes there were 4 singing Common Whitethroats, 1 Chiffchaff & 1 Garden Warbler. 2 Common Buzzards were at Stanklyn Lane paddocks. Linnets, Skylarks and Yellowhammers were all in song.

Garden Chafer - Shenstone 3rd June 2010:

Blue-tailed Damselfly - Captain's Pool 3rd June 2010:

Wednesday 2nd June 2010, Shenstone

A Juvenile Grey Wagtail was present on the north shore of Captain's Pool today and a Grey Heron was fishing from a fisherman's jetty on the south shore. Also present were a family of 7 Collared Doves (5 young birds) feeding under one of the Alders near the pool (TS).