I'm still catching up on the backlog of blog posts so please bear with me....
Today, me and Tony had a bit of a mini tour around North Worcestershire, with the intention of picking up a few of the local more specialised butterfly species.
We started our rounds at the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust's Penny Hill Bank reserve near Martley. The reserve itself is a small wildflower rich area of grassland on a lime-rich soil hillside. On arrival at the reserve and the unimproved field next to it, the thing that first struck us was the number of Pyramidal Orchids there were in flower. There were also good numbers of Common Spotted Orchids, although many of these were past there best.
On the butterfly front there were large numbers of Marbled White butterflies that were present. In total there were c.50 Marbled Whites on the wing in this area. Other butterflies seen included many Ringlets and Meadow Browns, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Small Skipper and a Small Tortoiseshell. Last year we picked up Green Hairstreak, Dingy Skipper and Brown Argus at this site but we were a bit late for them this year.
Other insects of interest seen included Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnett Moths, Six-spot Burnett Moths, A Longhorn Beetle (Strangalia maculata) and a Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis). On checking under the various sheets and corrugated panels on the reserve we counted an astounding 37 Slow Worms. What a fantastic reserve!
Longhorn Beetle (Strangalia maculata)
Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis)
Common Spotted Orchid