Today I met up with Mark P (Wood Dingle sorry I mean Woodwolf) at Shenstone to try and help him add Brown Argus and Essex Skipper to his list. Unfortunately the weather wasn't very favourable for butterflies and after what was a nice start to the morning it all went a bit dull and cool.
We started off by doing a walk though some of the butterfly hot spots along Stanklyn Lane and did indeed pick up an Essex Skipper as well as Small Skipper, there was no sign of Brown Argus however. Other butterfly species recorded during this walk were Common Blue, Small Copper, Gatekeeper, Speckled Wood, Small White and Large White. There were also good numbers of Pied Hoverfly present. A highlight for myself was of the flora variety when I discovered some nice patches of Hare's Foot Trefoil in the gallops field.
From Stanklyn we headed over to Barrs Lane/Butts Lane where we added Small Tortoiseshell and Comma to the days list. Not surprisingly we didn't get Brown Argus as they are very much an only fly when the sun is shining species. I also found an even better patch of Hare's Foot Trefoil just off Butts Lane.
Down by the, almost dried out, drainage pond we were really pleased to see a 2 juvenile and an adult Corn Buntings. There were also good numbers of juvenile Linnets, a Yellowhammer and a Pied Wagtail. As we were watching these birds a juvenile Whinchat popped up onto the top of the soil mound next to the pond before disappearing. I later relocated across the road in the small field near the broom bushes. What a great way to end the day!
I've put up a video of the Whinchat at the end of this post.
Juvenile Corn Buntings
Hare's Foot Trefoil (Trifolium arvense)