My first stop off on my late morning visit to the patch was the 'beet field' at Stanklyn Lane. There was no sign of any Purple Hairstreak activity today, which isn't surprising with the sunshine and showers weather. There were however good numbers of hirundines hawking low over the cereal field with c.60 Swallows and 16 House Martins present. A
♀ Sparrowhawk and 1 Common Swift were also present.
At Heath Lane there were 11 Common Swifts and a
♂Kestrel over the model aircraft field. I also noted an interesting wildflower called Weld that TMH had made me aware of.
I then headed over to Butts Lane to undertake an insect walk. I finally picked up my first Gatekeeper butterfly of the year. There had also been a noticeable emergance of Essex Skipper with 30+ on the wing along the set-aside. Other butterflies recorded included 1 Red Admiral, 1 Small Copper, 8 Small Tortoiseshells, 2 Large Skipper, 1 Large White, 4 Green-veined Whites, 1 Speckled Wood, 6 Meadow Browns, many Ringlets and Small Whites.
Also of great interest on the insect front was a Roesel's Bush Cricket, which over recent years has moved into Worcestershire as it expands its range from its stronghold in the South East of the country. Other notable invertebrates included a
♂Broad-bodied Chaser dragonfly and many Episyrphus balteatus Hoverflies.
I also started looking at a few more of the plants in this area including a nice patch of White Bryony (TMH) that was climbing through the Bramble on Barrs Lane. Also of note was Redshank (no not the bird...if only!) at the edge of the field in this area.
Double-click on any of the below pictures to enlarge.
Roesel's Bush Cricket (Metrioptera roeseli)
Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus)
White Bryony (Bryonia alba)
Hedge Bindweed (Calystegia sepium)
Common Poppy (Papaver rhoeas)