Tuesday 28th August 2012 - Shenstone

This morning I took advantage of the sunny weather and spent a few hours on the patch. 

I started my visit at Stanklyn paddocks where one of the juvenile Whinchats was still present. Nearby a Common Redstart (♀/imm.) was present on the adjacent hedgerow.  Also of note were 2 Ravens that flew over heading West.  Two Small Copper butterflies were also observed as they started to mate.

Whilst at the paddocks I was joined by my old mate Jared (aka Bellamy).  His botanical knowledge really is exceptional.  In fact he pointed out that there was a fairly rare plant right under my nose!  Across the lane from where I was parked is an area of verge containing a couple of hundred Tower Mustard (Arabis glabra) plants.  Tower Mustard is classed as vulnerable in the UK and only occurs at a handful of sites in Worcestershire.  For more info on this species click on the below link:


Also of note along Stanklyn Lane were a single Purple Hairstreak butterfly and a Migrant Hawker dragonfly.

I drew a blank at Heath Lane so I headed over to Butts Lane to undertake my regular walk.  This proved more successful with 3 Common Buzzards, 2 Stock Doves, 3 Sky Larks and 2 Linnets recorded.

The highlight of the day though came in the form of a butterfly, a ♂ Common Blue.  I know...Common Blue? I hear you cry.  Well, this year they have been in fairly short supply locally (probably due to the wet Spring) and believe it or not this is the first one I have recorded on the patch for 2012!  Other butterflies noted during this walk were1 Essex Skipper, 1 Small Copper, 1 Peacock, 2 Meadow Browns and 2 Green-veined Whites.

Also of interest on the insect side of things was a single ♀ Common Darter dragonfly, a Meadow Grasshopper and a Roesel's Bush Cricket.

Whinchat (juvenile)

Meadow Grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelus)

Tower Mustard (Arabis glabra)

Click on image to enlarge

Tower Mustard (Arabis glabra) flower


  1. Tower Mustard is a nice find, well done....

    Laurie -

  2. I'm ashamed to say I've never even heard of Tower Mustard Jason :-( I shall go and follow your link next.

    The Common Blue is distinctly uncommon this year in my experience!

  3. I've just thought, should you contact English Nature or someone in case they are not aware of it growing there?

  4. Ha...Cheers Bob!

    Laurie - I didn't even realize that it was there (flora is not my forte)

    Jan - Your so right on Common Blue! As for the Tower Mustard, I thought the same so I have submitted it to the worcestershire biological records centre, who are also forwarding it to the county plant recorder

  5. Interesting with the Tower Mustard find Jason! A new one for me too! I shall keep my eyes peeled for it!
    Another good patch walk for you and an interesting post! I am so pleased that you have seen a Common Blue at last...I haven't yet!

  6. Thanks Pam...so am I, I was getting really worried about the patch common Blues this year

  7. I shall check a couple of sites near Cookley over the weekend where i have recorded Tower Mustard a few years ago now that your sighting has spurred me!

    Laurie -