I was without my motor today so Tony very kindly offered to give me a lift so I could check out the patch. Things were deathly quiet in terms of the bird life, the only highlight was watching a Common Buzzard kill and partially eat a Rabbit at Stanklyn Lane paddocks (a bit macabre I know... but hey its natures way). A Small Copper butterfly was also seen at the paddocks
Due to a lack of success with the birds we decided to take a look at the invertebrates in the set-aside along Butts Lane. Butterflies were fairly scarce with only a few Small Whites and Green-veined Whites on the wing. We did however see a Small Tortoiseshell caterpillar on a Nettle leaf, 2 rather nice Lacewings (Chrysopa Perla) and a ♀ (Oedemera Nobilis) beetle.
Small Tortoiseshell Caterpillar:
Lacewing (Chrysopa Perla):
♀ Thick-legged Flower Beetle (Oedemera Nobilis):
From Shenstone we headed down the road to Grimley gravel pits. Our first stop was Holt...a traditional place for Turtle Dove and Spotted Flycatcher. We didn't manage to get either of these species but I did take the opportunity to photograph a rather stunning ♀ Beautiful Demoiselle.
We then headed on to the Camp Lane pits at Grimley. At the north end (which is currently being landscaped with pools and scrapes being put in) we recorded 6 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 1 Redshank, 1 Little Ringed Plover and 4 Lapwing.
On the main pool were 1 Dunlin, 5 Lapwing, 1 Oystercatcher, 8 Common Tern, c.60 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 5 Herring Gulls and 3 Black-headed Gulls. A Sedge Warbler was singing at the SE corner of the main pool and another from along the causeway. Reed Buntings were also heard singing. Other species seen were were Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Gadwall, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Canada Geese and a single Greylag Goose. Also along the causeway was an immature Black-tailed Skimmer dragonfly.
Common Tern - Grimley:
Black-tailed Skimmer (imm.) - Grimley: