Wednesday 9th April 2014 - Hillditch Pool & Shenstone

It was yet another glorious sunny day so I decided to pop back to Hillditch Pool for a spot of invert hunting and it certainly paid off.  Butterflies were a plenty with 4♂ Brimstone, 10+ Peacock, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Comma and a ♀ Orange Tip noted.

Other inverts of interest were a caterpillar of The Drinker moth and a Tree Bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum).  Many Alder Flies and White-lipped Snails (Cepaea hortensis) were also noted.

Alder Fly (Sialis lutaria)

The Drinker (Euthrix potatoria) larva

The highlight of the day though came in the form of a bird when a female Goshawk flew over and perched up in one of the large trees at the rear of the coppice.  The bird was out of sight and was calling on/off for a few minutes before taking flight again, coming back into view and heading off high in a SW direction...a really magical moment!

From Hillditch I decided to head over to 'the patch'.  Although it was starting to cloud over a little it was still mild and plenty of inverts were still on show.

I started my visit at Butts Lane/Barrs Lane where it was Shieldbug central with Dock Bugs and Pied Shieldbugs everywhere.  There had also been a bit of an emergence of Green Shieldbugs with a few pairs seen 'in cop'.  A Drinker moth larva was also noted here.

At the Stanklyn Wood the Bluebells were in full bloom and looking rather splendid.  A few clumps of Marsh Marigold were in flower in the damper areas and nearby a Coal Tit was busily singing away.

Along Stanklyn Lane 2 Swallows had returned and were busy hawking for insects over the paddocks and 3 Common Buzzards were up soaring over the gallops field. 

On the mown verge along the lane I found 6 fruiting bodies of the Yellow Fieldcap mushroom (Bolbitius titubans).

Heath lane was quiet but for a ♂ Kestrel perched on the wires next to the Islamic school.

Pied Shieldbug (Tritomegas bicolor)

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