Monday 10th March - Barnett Brook:
Late afternoon I received a rather excited a call from Mark P letting me know he had found a number of Orange Underwing moths on an area of his local patch. Orange Underwings are stunning day flying moths (about the size of a Small copper butterfly) that associate with Silver Birch trees and when in flight you get to see their beautiful orange underwings. On meeting up with Mark it wasn't long before we saw a small number of these moths flitting around the scrubby area near some Silver Birch (in fact Mark had managed a count of 15 before I arrived).
Whilst on Mark's patch we decided to have a look for another of his patch invert specialities the Pine Ladybird. It wasn't long before we found good numbers of these cracking little black and red ladybirds, and their larger relatives the 7-spot Ladybird, congregating on the young pine trees. Pine Ladybird was a lifer for me so it was more than pleasing sight!
Pine Ladybirds (Exochomus 4-pustulatus) & 7-spot Ladybirds (Coccinella 7-punctata)
Pine Ladybirds (Exochomus 4-pustulatus)
Tuesday 11th March 2014 - Chaddesley Woods:
It was a sunny afternoon so I decided to take a wander around Chaddesley Woods to see if there were any butterflies on the wing and I didn't actually see a single one! That said, I did manage to see a moth called The Engrailed that flew past and landed on the trunk of a nearby tree.
Also on the walk around I noticed a number of patches of Scarlet Elfcup fungus present.
The days highlight though came in the form of a bird when I heard (and saw) my first Chiffchaff of the Spring busily singing away. There were good numbers of Siskin present in the woods and at one area I came across a flock of c.60 of these stunning finches. On returning to me car a ♀ Bullfinch was showing well along the lane.
The Engrailed (Ectropis bistortata)
Click on image
♀ Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)
Thursday 13th March 2014 - Shenstone:
On my out & about today I stopped off (late afternoon) at Heath Lane and was pleased to hear a Chiffchaff singing from the grounds of the Islamic School. This was my first singing patch Chiffy of the year, a sign that Spring is well and truly here!