The weather seems to have settled down a bit over the past couple of days and, although not sunny, it has felt fairly warm. With such conditions as these my invert detector started twitching (and no that's not a euphemism before anyone asks!), so I decided to revisit Penny Hill Bank near Martley.
I gave Tony a bell to see if he was coming out to play and we arrived there just after mid-day. The flora now was absolutely stunning and the conditions were favourable for butterflies. In fact I think I saw almost as many butterflies in this small area than I have seen so far this year. In total we recorded 20 Marbled Whites, 8 Meadow Browns, 4 Common Blues, 1 Small Tortoiseshell and 1 rather worn Brown Argus.
A number of moths were also noted including 1 Yellow Shell, 2 Six-spot Burnett moths and a Six-spot Burnett larvae. I flushed a Heart & Dart moth and Tony found what was one of the day's highlights when he flushed and relocated a moth known simply as The Blackneck (Lygephila pastinum). This was a species that I hadn't seen before so needless to say I was rather pleased.
As always there were plenty of other insects of note at the site including 2 rather smart looking Longhorn Beetles (Strangalia maculata). and a Sexton Beetle (Nicrophorus vespillo)
Penny Hill is also a good place for some of our native reptiles and today was no exception with 2 Grass Snakes and 6 Slow Worms noted.
Not forgetting the area's avian inhabitants, we had cracking views of a Peregrine that went through. Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Song Thrush were all present and in good voice.
All in all it was a very pleasing and productive visit to a fantastic local reserve. I wonder what I may have missed at Shenstone...not a lot this time of year to be honest!
Six-Spot Burnett & Larvae