Today was my first proper chance to get back 'on patch' since my hols. The sun was shinning and there were many butterflies on the wing. There was no sign of any Autumn passage migrants around though.
I started on Heath Lane where there were 14 Swifts and 7 Swallows over the large stubble field. Other than the aforementioned species it was very quiet.
Next, I spent some time at Stanklyn Lane beet field. This area was very good for butterflies and I was more than happy when I discovered a new colony of Brown Argus here. I only saw 1 Purple Hairstreak flitting around the top of an Ash. There were at least 4 Holy Blues in this area and 2 Red Admirals (1 of which was unusually small at nearly half the size!). Other species recorded along Stanklyn Lane were Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Small Skipper, Small White and Large White. I didn't however see Common Blue or Peacock. All that was of note here bird wise, was a number of Willow Chiffs that were 'wheating' away in the hedgerow.
Elsewhere around the patch, I recorded 30+ House Martin over Witch Lane and the juvenile Common Buzzards were heard calling at Butts Lane.
From Shenstone I decided to pop approx 3 miles up the road to Tanwood (another good local area for passage passerines). On arrival I picked up a Wheatear on the wall of the adjacent barn conversion. After a few minutes it flew and perched on a nearby fence post only to be joined a few minutes later by an imm.
I was beginning to think things couldn't get any better I saw a butterfly fly up from the field to my right and I thought Marbled White...only for the said butterfly to be plucked out of the air by a Swallow. I decided to walk the footpath into the adjacent field and saw 3 Marbled Whites. I was really happy with this find as to my knowledge no-one has recorded them at this site before. Good numbers of Common Blue were also seen at Tanwood
I just need to find Marbled White at Shenstone, I now know to 3 sites within a few miles of my patch where they can be found....so fingers crossed!
Northern Wheater - Tanwood
Marbled White - Tanwood