Saturday 20th August 2011 - Elmley Lovett & Grafton Wood

Today, to my shame,  I accepted transport from a Wolves supporter.  I didn't realise what I was in for until Mark P turned up in his horse and cart!  (just kidding Mark...I really appreciated you helping me out)

The plan today was to head to Grafton Wood to hopefully get MP his first Brown Hairstreaks.  On the way we stopped of at Elmley Lovett.  Its about 3 miles from Shenstone and another place where I usually pick up passage migrants.  We scanned the fence posts but there wasn't a chat to be seen.  There was however 200+ Hirrundines in the sky and after a short while they were joined by a Hobby that started hawking them.  At one point a House Martin narrowly escaped by a less than a couple of inches.

We then headed to our main destination, Grafton Wood.  As we walked from the church to the woods the weather got worse and the drizzle started.  Undeterred we carried on..."well the weather might improve" did eventually but not until it had rained fairly heavy for half the visit, but we stuck it out and the sun did eventually shine.

On starting our walk around the woods we were greeted by the sound of a Muntjac Deer barking.  During the walk we didn't see a single Brown Hairstreak but we did get a number of other butterfly species including:  1 Silver-washed Fritillary, 2 Brown Argus, 1 Small Copper, 1 Holly Blue and many Common Blues, Speckled Woods, Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns and Small Whites.

The following dragonflies/dameselflies were recorded:  6+ Migrant Hawker dragonflies, 3 Common Darters and a ♀ Banded Demoiselle.  Small numbers of Common Carpet Moth were also seen and 2 Common Frogs were seen at the edges of the damp rides after the showers. 

Birds of note seen included a Marsh Tit, 2 Blackcaps and 2 Common Buzzard.  All in all an enjoyable day out.

Brown Argus

Common Blues

Common Carpet (Epirrhoe alternata)

Below is a sound recording of the Muntjac Deer barking.  As I didn't have my sound recorder with me I improvised and used my mobile phone.

  Muntjac Deer - Grafton Wood, 20th August 2011 by Shenstone Birder


  1. Brilliant photos, especially the Brown Argos, followed by the Common Blues and the Muntjac Deer, what a sound.

  2. Well captured shots, Jason.

  3. Thanks was was quite haunting hearing the Muntjac...such a strange barking sound echoing through an empty woods.

    Cheers just show what you can achieve with a compact digital camera and a bit of field craft

  4. Make the most of the flutters Jase, they wont be around for much longer now :-) nice photo's of 'em

  5. I know Warren...the seasons are moving so quickly...then again less time until next spring ;-)