Today was another one of those changeable weather days and with a spell of sunshine early afternoon I decided to pop to Shenstone to look for butterflies.
I started by undertaking my regular 'invert' walk around the Butts Lane area. This proved very productive as I noted 14 Ringlet, 6 Meadow Brown, 2 Large Skipper, 1 Comma and 2 Small Tortoiseshell. A Small/Essex Skipper was also observed but was too flighty to confirm id.
A Narrow-bordered 5-spot Burnett and 2 Cinnabar Moths were also noted. The Ragwort buds/flowers were were seemingly covered in the black & yellow caterpillars of the latter.
Other highlights included seeing my first patch Common Darter dragonfly of the year that was along the public footpath and recording an Ichneumon wasp that I hadn't seen before, Ichneumon sarcitorius.
On concluding the Butts Lane walk I headed over to Stanklyn Lane to check out the path at the edge of the 'beet field'. I still call it that even though there is no beet present this year. This is an area where I recorded Brown Argus last year but, as with Butts Lane, there was no sign. The only butterflies recorded were a single Small Tortoiseshell and a Meadow Brown.
This area wasn't a complete loss as I recorded 4 Spotted Longhorn Beetles (Rutpela maculata) on the umbilifer flowers and a new one for the patch, a Black-striped Longhorn Beetle (Stenurella melanura).
It was now time to head back home and watch Andy Murray give is all to be beaten by the brilliance of an inform Roger Federer.
Cinnabar Moth Larvae
Longhorn Beetles (Rutpela maculata) & (Stenurella melanura)