Friday 23rd June 2011 (Part 1) - Penny Hill Bank

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!

Marbled Whites

Longhorn Beetle (Strangalia maculata)

Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis)

Pyramidal Orchid:

Common Spotted Orchid

Slow Worm


  1. The three photos of Marbled White are superb, nice one Jason.

  2. As always, a great set of images, Jason. Really wish Marbled Whites would colonise my patch.

  3. Really lovely photos Jason. That sounds like a great Nature reserve!

    There used to be a particularly good place here for Marbled Whites but they haven't been noticeable there for two years now.

  4. Ah! Marbled White, a butterfly i'd love to see here Jase :-)

  5. Thanks All.

    Marbled Whites are certainly localised in Worcestershire but they do seem to be increasing. I have recently found out about a colony that is only about 2 miles down the road so fingers crossed I may get them at Shenstone in the future