Tuesday 24th July 2012 - A patch first!!!!

I popped down to Shenstone at noon on this beautiful sunny day to undertake a butterfly walk along Stanklyn Lane.  On arrival I bumped into Derek Roberts (the guy who found the March 2010 Black Redstart at Stanklyn Lane paddocks).  We had a good natter and walked through the gallops field to see if we could pick up the Whinchat. We soon picked up the ♂ Whinchat perched on some Ragwort.  Incredibly this was the 5th consequtive day that this passage migrant has been present.   

After a while observing the bird derek and I parted ways and I headed over to the Stanklyn Lane set-aside.  Here there were good numbers of both Essex and Small Skipper present, as well as large numbers of Meadow Brown and Ringlet.  I also recorded my first 2 patch Gatekeepers of 2012...I wondered when they would start putting in an appearance!  Two Silver Y moths, 1 Narrow-bordered 5-spot Burnett and many Six-spot Burnetts were also noted in the set-aside.

Whilst in this area a white and brown butterfly flew past.  I knew immediately what it was, a Marbled White!  Get in!  this is the first ever record for the site and I was absolutely elated.  I followed the butterfly as it flew over the flora hoping for it to land.  It did eventually and I just about managed a distant record shot of it perched on the Knapweed before it was chased by a Meadow Brown and flew quickly over the hedgerow and out of site.

Walking back through the Gallops I recorded 4 Small Coppers that were feeding on the Yarrow, a Gatekeeper and a Red Admiral.  A single ♀ Common Darter dragonfly was also present along the path.

I then wandered down the lane to 'the beet field' (that, for the first time in years doesn't contain sugar beet...just to confuse the issue).  I scanned the mature Oaks at the entrance and the Ash opposite and soon picked up what I was hoping for, a single Purple Hairstreak.  i discovered a small colony here last year so it was great to see that they were still present.

Also of note in this field were small numbers of Green-veined White, Small White and Large White flitting about amongst the pea crop.  A single Comma also flew through and a Holly Blue was flitting around the Ivy covered hedgerow.

What a great couple of hours...long may this good weather continue!

Marbled White - Stanklyn Lane, 24th July 2012

Click on image to enlarge

Small Copper

♂ Whinchat


  1. Oooh, nice one on the Marbled White! Hopefully there'll be more to come, and this is the beginning of a new colonisation. Good to see the Small Copper too, which happens to be my favourite butterfly species :)

  2. Nice one Jase, well jealous of the MW, and the Whinchat :-) Hopefully the latter will pass through my patch later next month, no chance with the former though ;-(

  3. Really great, the butterflies are superb.

  4. Always nice to find a first of something on the patch, excellent, I've only ever recorded 1 Marbled White here, that was last summer. Nice to have Whinchat too, especially when they stay for a while.

  5. It does seem to be a 'good' year for MB's with plenty of records being reported and, like yours, from new locales....

    Laurie -

  6. Marianne - fingers crossed on the colonisation!

    Warren - normally I only get 1st year Whinchats passing through later in the Autumn but to have an adult ♂ staying round for the past week is a real privilege

    Bob - Thanks ...I love this time of year mate for the butterflies

    Alan - I've been working Shenstone seriously for 6 years now...so you can imagine how chuffed I was to record my 1st patch Marbled White!

    Laurie - Your absolutely right. I spoke to Craig (Lutley Birder) the other day and they have recorded singles there this year

  7. Congratulations! What a day!