29th September & 5th October 2013 - Shenstone

Sunday 29th September:
This afternoon I undertook my first tour of the patch since returning from Devon.  As it was a sunny day and the temperature was fairly mild I decided to undertake a walk around the Butts Lane area to see what inverts were about.

The walk itself produced a nice mix of butterflies and moths with 2 Comma, 1 Small Copper, 1 Small Tortoiseshell and 2 Silver Y of note.  Also of interest was a Speckled Wood larva I found near the entrance to Eastfields Farm.

From Butts Lane I headed to a very quiet Heath Lane where only a Red Admiral and a Comma were of note.

At Witch lane a group of 4 Alba Wagtails flew over heading SW and a single Meadow Pipit was also noted.

Speckled Wood larva

Saturday 5th October:
Today's visit to the local patch proved to be the most productive that I have had in a long while.  Shortly after arriving at Barrs Lane I picked up an absolutely cracking ♂ Stonechat....result!   This was the first Stonechat that I have recorded at Shenstone in over 3 years, so needless to say I was chuffed. Stonechats used to overwinter on the patch (with 2 pairs being present most years) but not since winter 2008/2009.  Since then they have only been recorded as occasional passage migrants and only then during autumn migration.  So, although not a scarce species of bird, this really was an exciting find for me.

Stonechat ♂

After a short while I was joined by Tony S and whilst we were watching the Stonechat and gassing away a juvenile Hobby came over heading SW.

The day had also been very productive on the invert front too!  At Barrs Lane there were 2 Ruby Tiger moth larvae on the nettles and also a new species of ladybird for the patch, 22-Spot Ladybird.  Other species of ladybird observed today were 2-Spot, 7-Spot and Harlequin.

Ruby Tiger Moth Larva

At Witch Lane it was all about the butterflies with a Painted Lady and 7 Comma all feeding on the Ivy flowers.

What a great patch day...it's just a pity they are not all like this one!

Painted Lady


  1. What array of the different types of nature. I love the first, superb.

  2. Always good to get a Stonechat on patch Jase, seems to be a few more about than in recent years, lets hope so :-)