Friday 3rd June 2011 - Shenstone

Started my visit sat down at the side of Captains Pool with a mug of Tony's tea in hand....well you have to be cheeky in this game.  Within a few minutes of being there a Sand Martin was over the pool followed shortly afterwards by a Swallow.  One of the (2nd pair) of Great Crested Grebes was out on the water with 4 chicks on her back. 

Not long after talking to TS about how we don't tend to get Demoiselles on the patch we had a ♂ Beautiful Demoiselle land on a branch overhanging the water.  To both our knowledge this was a patch first and a great way to start the day.  Also present were a number of Common Blue Damselfies,  a Speckled Wood butterfly and a Purple and Gold Moth (Pyrausta aurata).

I then headed from Captains to Butts Lane to continue my butterfly and insect recording.  Although it was sunny today it was quite windy and far fewer butterflies were on the wing.  Other than the seemingly ever present Green-veined Whites, I recorded my first Meadow Brown of the year and 7 Large Skippers. 6 Cinabar Moths and a rather stunning Mother Shipton were also seen.  I also saw a male Broad bodied Chaser at the drainage pond and a Hover Fly (Syrphus vitripennis) on a Cow Parsley at the junction with Barrs Lane. At this rate I'm going to have to start an insect gallery and patch invertebrate list!

My final stop was on the south side of the patch at Witch Lane.  The only bird of note here was another Sand Martin that was over the field near the old grainstore.  Its really interesting that I saw 2 Sand Martins today as they are fairly scarce on the patch, don't breed there to my knowledge and only usually get seen during migration periods.  I wonder if there is a breeding colony in one of the sand banks at the nearby Hartlebury brick pits or maybe at one of the local fisheries...either way it was nice to see them.

Beautiful Demoiselle:

Mother Shipton:

Hover Fly (Syrphus vitripennis)

Meadow Brown:


  1. I haven't seen a Meadow Brown yet this year. I was trying to get a Brimstone yesterday but it just wouldn't cooperate :)

    The canal side seems to be a favourite spot for Beautiful Demoiselles here, they do live up to their name I think.

  2. Its only a matter of days before you get your Meadow Brown Shy. I totally agree about the Beautiful Demoiselle its a stunning little creature...just a pity I couldnt get close enough to this one (without falling in the pool) to get some close ups.


  3. Sand Martins are just passage bird here too jase. Congrats on your Beautiful Demoiselle!