9th to 23rd August 2013 - Shenstone

Friday 9th August:
Only visited the patch on a whistle-stop today but was really pleased to see both the juvenile and one of the adult Little Owls sat out in one of the trees there.

Sunday 11th August:
I undertook a butterfly walk over the Butts Lane fields early evening.  at first it seemed rather unproductive but then I picked up 2 Clouded Yellows that were chasing over the field.  One of which was even obliging enough to land so that I could take some photos!  I was overjoyed as this was a patch lifer and the first time I had recorded this species of migrant butterfly there. 

Clouded Yellow - 11th August 2013:

Monday 12th August:
A single ♂ Common Darter was seen near the drainage pond but there was no sign of the Clouded Yellows today

Common Darter (♂) - 12th August 2013

Friday 16th August:
Two Clouded Yellows were still present at the Butts Lane fields late afternoon.  Nearby, a Brown Hawker and a  single Migrant Hawker dragonfly were over the drainage pond.

Earlier this afternoon I had observed a Painted Lady on a buddleia at nearby Hartlebury.

Painted Lady - 16th August 2013

Sunday 18th August:
Today there were now 4 Clouded Yellows present at Butts Lane fields.  Also of note was a single Brown Argus, a ♂ Common Blue and 5 Silver Y moths.

Thursday 22nd August:
Today, Bev and I undertook a walk around the Butts Lane fields and observed just 2 Clouded Yellows.  Other butterflies of note during the walk were 1♂ Brimstone, 4♂ Common Blue, 2 Gatekeepers and 7 Small Tortoiseshell.  Also of interest were 5 Silver Y, 1 Dingy Footman moth and a Migrant Hawker dragonfly.

Common Blue (♂) - 22nd August 2013

Dingy Footman - 22nd August 2013

Friday 23rd August:
I didn't see any sign of the Clouded Yellows at Butts Lane today.  Nearby there was a fair bit of bird activity at Eastfields Farm where 21 Swallows were perched up on the wires.  Also present there were 8 Goldfinch (some of which were juveniles still being fed by their parents), 3 Greenfinch, 1 Green Woodpecker and a really stunning juvenile Willow Warbler looking rather resplendent in its yellow-washed finery! 

The undoubted highlight of the day came from an unexpected location on the patch.  I was scanning the fields next to Sparum Farm at the Summerfield end of Stanklyn Lane.  This field is one of the most unproductive areas on the patch (although I did pick up 4 Mistle Thrushes feeding there today).  As I was scanning I picked up a flash of red as a bird flitted down from the adjacent hedgerow down to ground.  I had a good idea what it was but grabbed my scope to confirm it.  Result...it was an immature Common Redstart.  Redstart is an annual passage migrant through the patch. Only small numbers are recorded each year and this was my first at the site for this year's autumn passage.

6th & 7th August 2013 - Shenstone & Grimley

Tuesday 6th August - Grimley & Shenstone:
Today I popped to Grimley with TS to see what was about.  Whilst there we recorded 2 Little Egrets, 11 Common Tern (7 juveniles) and a family party of 5 Oystercatchers (3 juv).

The highlight though came in the shape of a single Clouded Yellow that was darting about over the clover covered causeway.  It was the first time I had seen this migrant butterfly in Worcestershire in over 10 years so needless to say I was dead pleased!

On the way back from Grimley we nipped over to the local patch to check on the colony of Purple Hairstreak butterflies at Stanklyn Lane.  After a while we picked up 2 Purple Hairstreaks flitting around the top of a mature Ash.

Elsewhere on the patch the juvenile Little Owl was showing well.

Common Tern (juveniles)

Wednesday 7th August - Shenstone:
Today I spent a 2nd consecutive afternoon in the company of Tony.... it's no wonder I needed a stiff drink on the evening!  Spurred on by the previous day's Clouded Yellow sighting, we undertook a couple of walks on the patch looking for butterflies.

Our first walk was across the gallops field where there were an incredible 30+ Silver Y moths present.  The other notable here was a single Brown Argus butterfly.

From the gallops we headed over to walk the Butts Lane field & set-aside.  This turned out very productive with 1♀ Brown Argus, 5 Common Blues (4♂, 1♀), 1 Essex Skipper, 1 Peacock, 1 Small Skipper,  Small Copper and the ubiquitous Whites all noted.  The Common Blues were particularly pleasing as I had not recorded a single one on patch up until this visit.

Also noted at Butts Lane was a Silver Y and a Yellow Shell moth.

Yellow Shell

Common Blue (♂)

Common Blue (♀)

23rd & 24th July 2013 - Shenstone

Tuesday 23rd July - Captains Pool & Shenstone:
Today I had a long over due catch up with my old mate Tony S and to sample his splendid range of hot beverages! 

Whilst at Tony's CafĂ©, I spent some time viewing Captains Pool where a single adult Common Tern was performing well over the water.  Also showing was the Barnacle Goose that has been knocking around with the local group of Canada Geese for a number of weeks now.  The 2 juvenile Great Crested Grebes are also still present and developing well.

TS and I then headed out to check the Butts Lane set-aside for butterflies.  The warm weather has certainly bought them out in good numbers with 11 Species recorded along this small stretch of field margin.  The species recorded were Essex Skipper, Small Skipper, Small Copper, Comma, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Small White, Large White and Green-veined White.

Small numbers of Cinnabar Moth larvae were present on the Ragwort and a single Silver Y was also noted.

The undoubted highlight of the visit though was seeing a juvenile Little Owl branching out near the nest location.  The first sign of successful breeding this year.


Small Copper

Essex Skipper

Small White

Little Owl (juvenile)


Wednesday 24th July - Summerfield:
On my way back home from my voluntary work at WBRC I decided to pop down to the patch and visit the Summerfield end of Stanklyn Lane to check out if the Purple Hairstreak butterflies were on the wing.
I was in luck and 2 Purple Hairstreaks were busily flitting around the mature Ash and adjacent Oaks  in the late afternoon sunshine.  Also of note here was a single Holly Blue, a Comma and a rather tatty Speckled Wood.