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!)
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 opposite...it 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!