Sunday 20th May - Shenstone & back garden

Today I had my first walk around the patch since returning from holiday.  It's amazing how things can change in just a week.  The Spring passage migrants have all but finished (not a Wheatear or a Wagtail in sight) and hirrundines were now back in good numbers with 6 Swallows & 12 House Martins over Butts Lane and 14 Swallows and 4 House Martins over Heath Lane, where 3 Swifts were also noted.  I also observed two separate families of Blackbirds with juveniles in tow.

This time of year I generally start focusing more on the patch invertebrates. Its an area that fascinates me and it helps to fill a gap between Spring and Autumn migration periods.

Today's walk around Butts Lane only provided me with a single ♂ Orange Tip and a Small Tortoiseshell but many Black & Red Froghoppers were noted.

Heath Lane was equally unproductive in terms of butterflies but I did record a new beetle for the patch- Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn (Agapanthia villosoviridescens).  I also observed a Xanthogramma pedissequum Hoverfly  feeding on the umbilifer flowers.

Black & Red Froghopper (Cercopis vulnerata) 

Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn 
(Agapanthia villosoviridescens)

Hoverfly (Xanthogramma pedissequum)

Later that day, when Bev returned from work, we sat outside in the back garden and had a nice big mug of tea.  Whilst enjoying our brew we saw both a Holly Blue butterfly and a Large White.  

I then had a quick wonder around to see what else may be found.  I noted 3 species of day flying moth:  Adela reaumurella, Incurvaria masculella and small Purple and Gold (Pyrausta aurata).  On a number of bushes were mating Green Shield Bugs.

We have only got a narrow terraced house garden but it just shows what you can attract if you garden with wildlife in mind.

Small Purple & Gold (Pyrausta aurata)

Green Shield Bugs (Palomena prasina)


  1. Cracking pics, Jason.
    It`s that time of year when the invert activity outshines the bird activity.

  2. Thanks Dean. I love this time of's good to have a break from the birdlife and there is just so much to see when you start looking closer at the patch's smaller creatures!

  3. Nice photo's Jase :-) I love the Flutters and Damsels, they nake the summer for me!

  4. Excellent photos again, Jason.

  5. Warren - I totally agree mate. Whilst some birders get all deflated between migration periods...I really enjoy getting out there. The inverts make a big difference to a patch naturalists calaendar in my opinion!

    Omi - Thanks, much appreciated

  6. I missed part three! :-( What an amazing time you had Jason! And it seemed you had better weather than we did too. How wonderful to see the Otters, I would have loved that. So glad I caught up with the lovely Glossy Ibis photos.

    I love the invert season! I think that's where digital photography really comes into its own. There is something magical about spotting a tiny insect and then lookIng through the lens and seeing it magnified. That Small Purple & Gold is a pretty little moth.

  7. Lovely set of hard to get, they are superb.

  8. Jan - Thanks, you are absolutely right about digital photography and the opens up a whole new world to the eyes

    Bob - Cheers mate

  9. A good read Jason! That Small Purple and Gold is a little beauty, well found! A great set of images you have posted!

    I have had a May Bug in my garden the last two evenings, to be honest I can cope with mostinsects, even the odd spider, but the May Bugs give me goose pimples so I dash!

  10. Hi Pam thank you. I get quite a few of the Small Purple and Gold's in the garden as they tend to like Mint, of which I have a large patch that I let go a bit wild and flower.

    Not actually had a May Bug in my garden this Spring which is quite odd