Wednesday 27th June 2012 - Out & about in North Worcestershire

It was another dry day and fairly humid too.  Again I decided to leave working a very unproductive Shenstone (as seems to be the case in this odd summer) and visit a handful of nearby sites to check up on some species that I had recorded in previous years.

The first place that I visited was Tanwood near Chaddesley Corbett.  This time last year I discovered a small colony of Marbled White butterflies in the meadows here and wanted to see if there was any sign in 2012.  Unfortunately there wasn't and the field where they had been in the previous year was in desperate need of grazing.  In the adjacent meadow though I did record 4 Meadow Browns, 3 Common Blues and 2 Small Coppers.  It also held a few day-flying moths with 2 Silver Y and 3 Yellow Shell noted.

Next stop on my travels was the county museum at Hartlebury.  Last year I had discovered a colony of Scarlet Tiger moths here and recorded 10 in one visit.  I had popped here earlier in the week and recorded a single flighty Scarlet Tiger Moth but was hoping to fare better this time...there wasn't a sniff of one but I did find consolation in a cracking moth called The Snout (if you look at the photo below you will see why!)

Hillditch Pool
From the grounds of the museum I headed to nearby Hillditch pool to see how my recently discovered Scarce Chasers were faring.  What was great to see was that these dragonflies had matured and there were now 3 ♂ and 2 ♀ Scarce Chasers present.  The males were now that lovely powder blue colour and appeared to be holding territory.

My final stop was at Blackstone near Bewdley.  I decided to cross over the bridge to the other side of the River Severn and walk the stretch towards Bewdley again looking for Scarlet Tiger Moths. In 2010 I recorded small numbers on the Comfrey here and was hoping to see, and perhaps photograph, a few more.  There was no sign although I did note a Red Admiral and 2 Common Blue butterflies.  Banded Demoiselles were fairly numerous and smaller numbers of Beautiful Demoiselles were also noted.

I had given up on finding any tiger moths after walking pretty much to Bewdley and back when fate  was kind to me and I saw something far better!  Whilst approaching the bridge over the Severn I saw some movement in the water near the edge of the island was an Otter!  judging by the size of it I would say it was a dog Otter and it was merrily swimming along with the current literally 30 ft away, I was speechless.  The views I had in my bins were incredible and then things just got better.  The Otter got out of the water and stood on top of a pile of branches at the edge of the island.  I could see this beautiful mammal in all its glory.  It spent about 30 seconds there before slipping back into the water and out of sight behind the over-hanging vegetation.  What a great way to end the day, my first views of Otter locally and so close.  It's moments like this that make it all worthwhile!

Common Blue - Tanwood

Silver Y - Tanwood

The Snout (Hypena proboscidalis) - Hartlebury


  1. The pictures are brilliant, really.

  2. You are finding some great moths and butterflies with splendid images too Jason! The Otter must have been a real treat to see, I am chuffed for you!

  3. Super photos again, liked The Snout, a moth I have never heard of. Well done seeing the Otter and your description had my pulse racing. Bosherston and the Severn within a few weeks. I have still never seen one, maybe I should go to Specsavers!

  4. Hi Jason I don't know what happened to my comment on the previous post but I know I sent one :-(

    Anyway, well done with The Snout, a very smart looking moth and I always enjoy seeing Silver Ys. Mega well done with the Otter! What a magical moment that must have been, are there photos to look forward to?

  5. Bob - Cheers mate

    Pam - it was a magic moment seeing the Otter

    Mike - Thanks. I don't think Specsavers will help Mike..I was just lucky. I've been watching birds/wildlife since the mid 90's and only this year have I finally seen wild oters!

    Jan - Blogger does strange things at times...I've found that when I have posted comments now and then. No photos I'm afraid I was too wrapped up in the moment to take my binoculars off it!

  6. Hi Jason,

    Cracking blog - have been following it for a while. Any footage of the Otter? I was on the trail of Otters last night at Brandon Marsh but to no avail, did have a nice consolation prize in the form of a Badger though!

    Keep up the great blog.

    Cheers, Rob

  7. Rob - Cheers for the commets...much appreciated. Unfortunately I was so taken in watching the otter that I never took any footage...may be next time.

    P.s. A badger is a good consolation in my book!

  8. Aha, yes, I see the 'Snout', lol. Great photos; wondered if we might get a shot of the otter at the end of your post but I guess you were glued to your bins. 8)

  9. Absolutely Omi...I couldnt take them off the stunning creature!