Saturday 6th October 2012 - Titterstone Clee Hill

Today I met up with Mark P (http://doorstepbirding.blogspot.co.uk/) for a trip across the county boundary to the nearby Shropshire highpoint of Titterstone Clee Hill.  We had hoped that at that elevation on such a clear day that we may pick up an interesting passage raptor.  As it was we didn't but a good few hours was had all the same.

On arriving at the summit carpark we walked around to the radar station.  Very little was of note birdwise except the large numbers of Meadow Pipits and to a lesser extent Linnets that were seemingly every where around the summit.  Also of note was a single Pied Wagtail.  The fungi was starting to become apparent on the areas of short acid grassland with Meadow Waxcap particularly numerous.  A single rather mature Common Puffball was also noted.

We then decided to walk around the disused quarry area.  This was a good call as it not only produced a rather stunning looking Fox Moth caterpillar but also an area with a few fruiting bodies of Blackening Waxcap, both of which were new species for me.  Blackening Waxcap starts of as a yellow/orange colour when it is young turning brown/black as it matures.

By the time we were focusing on the area of the hill to the North West of the summit the thermals were picking up as were the birds.  At one point we had an incredible 31 Ravens all in the sky at once tumbling, kronging and generally performing as Ravens do.  They never fail to put a smile on my face...great birds!  

On this side of the hill we picked up a single Northern Wheatear that was hopping about on the path nearby.  This may well be the last one I see locally this year as autumn migration rolls on.  I also found a rather nice Yellow Stagshorn fungi there.

After quite a while scanning the skies, 6 Common Buzzards and 3 Kestrels later, we decided to head back to the car for a nibble on Mrs P's most delightful baps (no not those baps you filthy minded so & so's... I mean her freshly prepared ham and cheese ones!)

We then headed to another part of the hill to check out the area near the working quarry.  Again there wasn't  much of any exception birdwise here although we did see our only Stonechat of the day perched briefly on a gorse bush before flitting of down the slope out of sight.

The small pool to the left of the track held a single Common Hawker but that was about it for dragonflies today.  We had fared better with butterflies with 8 Small Tortoiseshells and 3 Peacocks noted during our travels.

All in all it was a very pleasing visit with a variety of wildlife on offer.  I can see myself returning there again in the very near future!

Fox Moth Larva (Macrothylacia rubi)




Click on images to enlarge








Meadow Waxcap (Hygrocybe pratensis)















Yellow Stagshorn (Calocera viscosa)















Common Puffball (Lycoperdon perlatum)















Blackening Waxcap (Hygrocybe conica)

8 comments:

  1. Some lovely colours and textures there, Jason, and superbly photographed.

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  2. The Ravens were a delight, and nice to nab a Wheatear. Glad the comestibles were up to scratch too !

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  3. 31 Ravens all in one go!! I'm still sfter my first one at New Hythe Jason.

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  4. Agree with you about the Ravens, Jason,fantastic birds and they seem to enjoy the acrobatic flying. Over the last year or so we have started to see them regularly over our house. Do you think their numbers have increased or are they more widespread? Maybe we are just getting better at spotting them!

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  5. 31 Ravens! Excellent Jase, maybe a few will visit here ;-)

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  6. Rob - Thanks mate. These fungi def.add a splash of colour this time of year

    Mark - Yep it was a decent day all round mate

    Deano - Cheers mate

    Phil - They are not as uncommon in this part of the country and the breed at this particular site

    Mike - I think there numbers have increased as I am seeing them more and more in North Worcs. There a regularly 2 in the Stone/Shenstone area

    Warren - Cheers. Fingers crossed for you mate!

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  7. It sounded like a very pleasant visit and a great place to go Jason. Really lovely photos and an excellent, colourful selection of fungi.

    I got my first Raven 'on patch' a couple of months ago :-) Well done on the lovely little Stonechats on the last post, I've never seen one here!

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