As today was a beautiful sunny day I decided to pay a visit to Monkwood NR. The reserve is co-owned and managed by Butterfly Conservation and the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust. It is a fantastic woodland reserve that hosts an array of wonderful invertebrates.
I arrived just before mid-day and began my circuit around. Butterfly numbers were impressive with the following recorded: 16 Brimstone (12♂, 4♀), 1 Comma, 2 Green-veined White, 20+ Orange Tip, 20+ Peacock and 6 Small Tortoiseshell. One of the highlights on the butterfly front was seeing a pair of Brimstones doing there courtship flight along the one ride, flitting and spiralling around each other in close proximity like some sought of ritual dance...magical!
Brimstone - 14th April 2014
Green-veined White - 14th April 2014
Orange Tip (♂) - 14th April 2014
Also of note along the rides were good numbers of Large Bee Flies, included a few copulating pairs.
Large Bee Flies (Bombylius major) - 14th April 2014
In the area surrounding the ponds I observed 3 teneral Large Red Damselflies. These were the first Odonata recorded in Worcestershire for 2014.
Large Red Damselfly - 14th April 2014
The days highlight though didn't come in the form of an invert but rather that of a bird. Along the edge of one of the rides, reeling from deep within the scrubby vegetation was a Grasshopper Warbler. The bird did 4 bursts of its grasshopper like reeling call from what sounded like a few feet away, then it went quite but for a rustling/scurrying sound in the undergrowth. Do you think I could see the skulking little beggar? Not a chance!