Right, time to dust off the blog and start catching up with a few posts!!!
Friday 19th April:
I started this evening's patch visit at Stanklyn Lane where the ♂ Common Redstart was still present. Opposite, on the gallops, a single ♂ Northern Wheatear was also present. it was also good to hear singing Blackcap, Corn Bunting and Yellowhammer in this area.
At Heath Lane a flock of 6 Corn Buntings were perched up on one of the hedgerows. A Common Buzzard was also present.
Elsewhere, the Little Owl was showing well perched in it's favoured tree.
The undoubted highlight though was seeing a stunning Red Fox trotting across the lawn at the rear of Stone Manor, it's rufous coat looking wonderful in the glow of the evening sun.
Saturday 20th April:
Today I arrived at the patch around mid-day to be greeted by the sight of a cracking ♂ Brimstone butterfly flying along Stanklyn Lane, my first patch sighting of this species for 2013. The year firsts didn't stop there when I noticed a Common Whitethroat flitting about and singing near the junction with Heath Lane.
At Stanklyn Wood a Nuthatch was calling and both Blackcap and Chiffchaff heard singing
At Heath Lane another Chiffchaff and a ♂ Blackcap were seen singing. The only butterfly noted here was a single Small Tortoiseshell.
At Butts Lane I was treated to a bit of nature porn when the pair of Kestrels started mating on the grass bank. They don't half kick up a racket whilst at it!
My final stop was Witch Lane where a single Yellow Wagtail flew over heading WSW. This area was the most productive for invertebrates with 1 Peacock, 2 Small Tortoiseshells, 1 ♂ Nursery Web Spider, 1 Pied Shieldbug and an Early Mining Bee noted here.
Early Mining Bee (Andrena haemorrhoa)
♂ Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis)
Thursday 23rd April:
Today there were 2♂ Northern Wheatear and a ♂ Common Redstart present at Stanklyn Lane (TMH).
I only had time to whistle-stop through Shenstone today and managed to find another 3 Northern Wheatear on the rolled seedbed along Curslow Lane.
At Butts Lane a pair of Swallows were present around Eastfields Farm and a Willow Warbler was singing nearby.
Friday 24th April:
Again, I only had time for a quick patch visit but was pleased to see that there were now 5 Northern Wheatears (4♂, 1♀) in the gallops field.
The Witch Lane area was again the place to go for the insects with a queen Buff-tailed Bumble Bee, a Common Carder Bee and a Small Tortoiseshell noted there
Northern Wheatear (♂)
Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris)