Welcome!        

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The Teme Valley Wildlife Group is a local group of wildlife enthusiasts, living and working within the Teme Valley (North & South) area, of Worcestershire, UK. This area covers the River Teme from Ludlow to Clifton and either side of the valley, the center point being Upper Rochford and a 10 mile radius thereof (roughly!). The Outer Area therefore Clockwise is Clee>Cleobury>Abberley>Martley>Bromyard>Leominster>Bircher>Ludlow>Clee...and hence therefore includes some small parts of the Worcestershire border areas of both Shropshire to the North-West and Herefordshire to the West and South-West.

This site has fast become the biological recording center for the Teme Valley, which by use of ‘eyes and ears’ of local people living and working in the area, has developed into a definitive reference catalogue, showing the diversity of species we have present in our area.

We actively encourage local participation within the Group and on this web site.
We want to know what you are seeing and hearing on the wildlife front in our area and welcome any comments, information or photographs you take, from locals and visitors alike.

We will endeavour to update this site at least weekly when ever possible.

All photos on this site are by Danny Arnold (DMA) unless otherwise credited. All photos remain copyright of the photographer.

No re-publication without express permission. Web masters may freely link to this site.

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Meetings

The Teme Valley Wildlife Group holds a Monthly Meeting on the second Thursday of the Month. The Venue is Rochford Village Hall between 7:30 and 9:30 pm. Grid Ref: SO 6338 6770 or Google Earth ....52.18'22.44 N      2.32'18.33 W.

Want directions with a map?..click here.   Post Code : WR15 8SW

                     Everybody is most welcome to indoor meetings. £2 on the door.        Membership is optional, £2 per annum

2014 Monthly Speakers Calendar

January
9th
2014 Tim Haselden Water Voles - A reintroduction project
February
13th
2014   Meeting cancelled
March
13th
2014 Caroline Corsie Wildlife friendly farming
April
10th
2014 Harry Green & James Hitchcock The ecology of the Lime tree  ......... (Also the AGM)
May
8th
2014 Dr Mark Robinson Putting in place a canal side reedbed
June
12th
2014 Rebecca Lashley The Worcs Orchards Project
July
10th
2014 Dr Pete Boardman Craneflies
August
14th
2014 OUTDOOR EVENT Flowers, Birds, Bats and Moths evening at Eastham
September 11th 2014 Dr Joy Rooney

The ecology of Hartlebury Common - An inland sand dune

October 9th 2014 Mary Walter Bumblebees
November 13th 2014 Will Watson Ecology of the River Teme (To be confirmed)
December 2014 No Meeting  

2014 Monthly Nature Walk Calendar

January

 

2014

  No Walk Planned

February

 

2014

  No Walk Planned

March

 

2014

  No Walk Planned

April

13th

2014

  Shakenhurst/Neen Sollars ‘Live and let walk’

May

11th

2014

  God's Acre Walk - Hope Bagot

June

22th

2014

  Bewdley Meadows WWT reserve (A new WWT reserve)

July

13th

2014

Abberley Hill - Circular Walk

August

17th

2014

  Far Forest / Wyre Forest Walk

September

14th

2014

  To be confirmed

October

 

2014

  No Walk Planned

November

 

2014

  No Walk Planned

December

 

2014

No Walk Planned

Other Upcoming TVWG Events in 2014

         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         

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   NEW !!........We are now on Flickr:

If you want to post your own wildlife images taken in the TEME VALLEY use this link :

                                                                                               http://www.flickr.com/groups/temevalleywildlife/

For members of the Teme Valley Wildlife Group who want to post wildlife pictures you've taken OUTSIDE OF THE TEME VALLEY  i.e. anywhere else in the world, then you can use this link :  http://www.flickr.com/groups/tvwg/

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Weekly Update

6 July Eric Davies sent in these two great images of a Kingfisher on the River Teme. One of our most iconic river birds.

                                

                            

 

4 July Simone Arnold found this grisly scene in the bath this morning. This Harvestman Spider had encapsulated another spider for its larder.

            

                                                                                    Harvestman Spider                      Photo : Simone Arnold

3 July On the Highwood, Ken Willetts had a 'first record' for his garden, of this tiny Fire Thorn Leaf Miner moth Phyllonorycter leucographella This is a relative newcomer to the UK, only first being found in Essex in 1989. Since then it has dispersed throughout the UK rapidly.

            

                                                                        332a Phyllonorycter leucographella                     Photo : Ken Willetts

 

2 July Eric Davies was out with his camera in the Footrid area of Mamble today. He caught these great images on his walk.

            

                                                                                     Spotted Flycatcher                                  Photo : Eric Davies

             

                                            Mistle Thrush and juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker                      Photo : Eric Davies

            

                                                     Male Redstart and young - Coming in to feed                   Photo : Eric Davies

           

                                                                                     Male Redstart and young                      Photo : Eric Davies

At Boraston, Geoff Wookey had this Southern Hawker Dragonfly land on his shoe.

           

                                                                                     Southern Hawker Dragonfly                      Photo : Geoff Wookey

2 July Charlotte Hughes' brother spotted an Osprey over Charlottes farm at Hillwood Eastham today. Meantime, Stuart Smith went to see if he could get sight of the Little Egret up at Upper Sapey, and did. Originally on the ground, it flew into a tree to preen. Great to have this record in the area.

           

                                                                                     Little Egret #1                                  Photo : Stuart Smith

           

                                                                                     Little Egret #2                                  Photo : Stuart Smith

           

                                                                                     Little Egret #3                                  Photo : Stuart Smith

1 July Stuart Smith at Wolferlow, reports that a farmer friend, Alan Thacker, saw a Little Egret by the water jump on the Sapey Cross Country course in Wolferlow today.

29 June At Frith Common, Pete and Vicki Stevens sent in these two images. The first of a Burnished Brass moth, which was flushed up from the undergrowth. The second, their first brood of Swallows waiting to be fed.

            

                                                                                     Burnished Brass Moth                                  Photo : Vicki Stevens

            

                                                                     Young Swallows waiting to be fed                     Photo : Vicki Stevens

28 June At Kingswood, Stanford Bridge, Matthew Bailey had two large Hornets drop onto his chicken pen from an over hanging oak tree. He says they were at least two inches long. Have you seen any large hornets about this year?

27 June At Boraston today, Geoff Wookey had a Red Kite fly over the house. And at Oldwood Common, John Abbiss sent in these shots taken with his camera on the Common

                  

                                                                                     Six Spot Burnet Moths                                  Photo : John Abbiss

            

                                                                                                 Ringlet                                  Photo : John Abbiss

            

                                                                                                 Lacewing                                  Photo : John Abbiss

26 June Driving home tonight, Chris Peacock saw a Red Kite flying over the A49 between the Tenbury turn and Ludlow. Over on the Highwood, Ken Willetts trapped and recorded these two micro moths. The Mompha Propinquella larvae feed on Rosebay Willowherb, whilst the Ash Bud moth, as the name suggests, feeds on young Ash leaves.

           

                                                                                       888 Mompha Propinquella                     Photo : Ken Willetts

           

                                                                                       449 Ash Bud moth                                        Photo : Ken Willetts

25 June Whilst out walking today, Geoff Wookey's dogs flushed out a Polecat very briefly that ran across the road and disappeared in the hedge.

24 June Three fantastic images sent in from Richard Pill from his patch over at Knighton on Teme.

           

                                                                                             Large Skipper                                          Photo : Richard Pill

           

                                                                                             Azure Damselfly                                   Photo : Richard Pill

           

                                                                                             Ringlet                                          Photo : Richard Pill

22 June In Ashbed Woods today, Geoff Wookey got a great sighting of a Garden Warbler singing its heart out on a bush beside him. Meanwhile over at Ludlow, Jim MacDonald sent in these two great images. The first of a partially leucistic blackbird showing some considerable white feathers amongst the normal black, and an Eyed Hawk Moth, one of the larger of the Hawk moths we have in the area.

            

                                                                               Partially leucistic Blackbird                     Photo : Jim MacDonald

            

                                                                                                Eyed Hawk Moth                                 Photo : Jim MacDonald

 

21 June John Abbiss was out and about on Oldwood Common today, where he says the grass was being cut. This attracted Red Kite, Kestrel and at least six Buzzards overhead, no doubt surveying the ground for fleeing rodents. In the undergrowth at the side of the common, he found two moth species, Large Yellow Underwing and Scorched Wing. As well as taking some nice flower and grass images.

            

                                                                                                 Vetch                                  Photo : John Abbiss

            

                                                                                             Red Kite                                  I don’t know if its worth pursuing

            

             Assortment of grasses - Which John names as : Cocksfoot, False oat grass, Red fescue, Black bent,

             Creeping soft grass, Timothy, Wavy hair, and Bristle bent

            

                                                                                                Kestrel                                 Photo : John Abbiss

                 

                                                                                                 Dog Rose                                  Photo : John Abbiss

              

                                                                               Kestrel dropping on prey                                  Photo : John Abbiss

               

                                                                        Large Yellow Underwing Moth                                  Photo : John Abbiss

                                    

                                                                                                 Ragged Robin                                  Photo : John Abbiss

            

                                                                                                 Dandelion                                  Photo : John Abbiss

            

                                                                               Common Spotted Orchid                                  Photo : John Abbiss

            

                                                                               Scorched Wing Moth                                  Photo : John Abbiss

19 June Geoff Wookey had a moth trap out last night and recorded this not too common, White Satin moth.

             

                                                                                            White Satin Moth                        Photo : Geoff Wookey

18 June Chris Kemble sent in these images from her garden. The first a pair of Bullfinch and the second a large bee she found in the window. Caroline Roseman thinks the bee is possibly the queen of a Red tailed Cuckoo bee which parasitises the nests of Red tailed Bees.

              

                                                                                            Bullfinch                                    Photo : Chris Kemble

             

                                                                                            Red tailed Cuckoo bee                        Photo : Chris Kemble

17 June Wanda Arnold had a great sighting yesterday of a Male Hen Harrier flying low over one of the local fields. Wanda is well used to seeing Hen Harriers on Islay, so identification of this seldom seen bird in this part of the country was easy, albeit a bird out of place. Meantime, Chris Peacock gave us an update of his patch saying that hes getting regular visits from a Green Woodpecker feeding on the ants on Ludlow School playing fields. And at home, Chris has a Great Spotted Woodpecker nesting in an old Ash tree at the bottom of the garden and is hearing a Cuckoo regularly over towards Brimfield Common.

16 June Chris Mussell heard a Cuckoo calling in Hanley Dingle today. And Liz Thorp sent in this photo of a nest of six Swallows in her stable. (There are six she assures us, but you can only see four !)

                                  

                                                                                             Swallow nest                        Photo : Liz Thorp

15 June Up on the Clee at Doddington, Eric Davies had two good records. First he came across the Wall butterfly, a totally under recorded species locally and quite rare in our parts. And secondly, he came across three Cuckoos, one of which perched on a wire who posed beautifully whilst Eric photographed him / her. Great day out Eric!

            

                                                                                             Wall Butterfly                                            Photo : Eric Davies

            

                                                                                             Cuckoo  #1                                           Photo : Eric Davies

            

                                                                                             Cuckoo  #2                                           Photo : Eric Davies

14 June At Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman came across two Redstart on her driveway today. Great to hear that these birds appear to be doing well in the Valley this year. At Knighton on Teme again, Richard Pill took these damsel fly images on a local pool.

            

                                                                             Large Red Damsel Fly                             Photo : Richard Pill

 

            

                                                                Common Blue Damsel flies in cop                             Photo : Richard Pill

 

13 June At Knighton on Teme, Richard Pill arrived home late last evening to hear an Owl in the trees in his orchard. Taking a light and camera out, he found three fledgling Tawny Owls.

            

                                                                 One of the three Tawny Owl chicks                             Photo : Richard Pill

            

                                                                             And another one!                                      Photo : Richard Pill

At Highwood, Ken Willetts trapped and recorded this tiny micro species. This is only the third record for the Teme Valley and the first time the actual adult moth has ben recorded. The other two records come from leaf mines on apple. This colourful little moth is Callisto dentculella

            

                                                                                     310 Callisto dentculella                                       Photo : Ken Willetts

At Ludlow again, Jim MacDonald found this Buff Tip moth and compared it with a broken twig. Great camouflage!.

            

                                                            Buff Tip Moth vs a broken twig                                        Photo : Jim MacDonald

12 June At Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold had his first sighting of the year of Swifts overhead. And further west at Ludlow,   Jim MacDonald had this huge Hornet turn up on his garden pond.

            

                                                                                       Hornet                                        Photo : Jim MacDonald

            

                                                                                       Hornet                                        Photo : Jim MacDonald

            

                                                                                       Hornet                                        Photo : Jim MacDonald

Ken Willetts trapped these two moth species which at first Glance may look the same.

                        

                                                                                       Minor agg. species                                        Photo : Ken Willetts

            

                                                                                       Marbled White Spot                                        Photo : Ken Willetts

            

And at Boraston, Geoff Wookey trapped and recorded this Common Pug Moth. One of a very difficult group of moths to identify by eye.

            

                                                                                       Common Pug                                        Photo : Geoff Wookey

11 June Geoff Wookey at Boraston says he has Spotted Flycatchers breeding with the female sitting on the nest in a climber running up the garage wall. He's also come across a pair of Redstart at Ashbed wood which have been in the same area for a while now and showing signs of nesting. Geoff also reports that there are also a number of Willow Warbler in and around the wood, in fact more this year then any previous year. There are also a large number of Brown Silver-line (moth) in the bracken and nettles near the wood. And finally, Geoff reports that a Cuckoo is being regularly heard in Boraston village and down as far as the Peacock. Great update!

10 June David Sothers has had a pair of Stoat raise a family under one of his garden features at Rochford. This has allowed him to take some wonderful images of the parents and young in the garden. Here's a couple of the images and if you want to see more, click here.

            

                                                                                          Stoat 1                                             Photo : David Sothers

            

                                                                                           Stoat 2                                             Photo : David Sothers

 

More interesting moth species are still turning up at Ken Willetts light trap on the Highwood. Last night included this Stunning Peach Blossom Moth, the Lobster Moth (which gets its name from the caterpillar larvae which looks very crustacean like in appearance) and the Sandy Carpet.

            

                                                                                       Peach Blossom                                        Photo : Ken Willetts

 

            

                                                                                        Lobster Moth                                Photo : Ken Willetts

 

           

                                                                                    Sandy Carpet                                Photo : Ken Willetts

 

Over at Woonton, Alastair Hardy found two Common Spotted Orchid coming into bloom on one of his fields.

                                              orchid (768x1024).jpg

                                                                             Common Spotted Orchid               Photo : Alastair Hardy

9 June At Wolferlow, Stuart Smith had a Cuckoo calling yesterday morning after a break without hearing one for a while. Also seven Mistle Thrushes in his field some adults feeding young. He's still only seen one House Martin and no Swifts but lots of Swallows nesting in his barns

On the Highwood, Ken Willetts light trap produced another interesting species. This time it was the Large Twin Spot Carpet moth.

            

                                                                          Large Twin spot Carpet                                Photo : Ken Willetts

And at Upper Rochford, this tiny Tinea semifulvella moth came to Danny Arnold's light trap over night. This colourful little species lays its eggs in birds nests or wool remnants.

            

                                                                          246 Tinea semifulvella                               Photo : Danny Arnold

8 June At Frith Common, Pete & Vicki Stevens had the Cuckoo calling twice today. One locally to the house and one later at a distance towards Dumbleton Lane. They also had a Red Kite drift over last evening.

On the Highwood, Ken Willetts light trap was busy. He trapped and recorded this stunning little micro moth. Although there are several look alike's in this group, this is the easiest to identify as it is the only one with these distinctive yellow palps as can be seen in Ken's image. The moth is 1174 Epiblema Cynosbatella the larvae of which feed on a variety of roses including Dog Rose and even cultivated roses.

            

                                                                          1174 Epiblema Cynosbatella                               Photo : Ken Willetts

Whilst most of us get Blue Tits and Great Tits nesting in the garden, David & Jo Sothers at Rochford had this stunning pair of Redstart take up residence in a nest box just outside the conservatory window. Stunning images David!

                               

                                                                         Male Redstart                               Photo : David Sothers

                              

                                                                     Female Redstart                             Photo : David Sothers

                              

                                              Characteristic tail flick of the Male Redstart         Photo : David Sothers

7 June On the Highwood, Ken Willetts sent in this photo of another stunning moth, the Blood Vein Moth. No prizes for working out why its called that!

            

                                                                                Blood vein Moth                                     Photo : Ken Willetts

6 June At Lower Rochford Caroline Roseman is getting into bee identification in a big way. Here are four images of different bees that visited her garden today.

            

                                                                          Buff tailed Bumblebee                                      Photo : Caroline Roseman

 

            

                                                                              Red Tailed Bumblebee                                      Photo : Caroline Roseman

 

            

                                                                       Common Carder Bee                                      Photo : Caroline Roseman

 

            

                                                                                 Buff Tailed Bee                                      Photo : Caroline Roseman

 

And a 'first' for Ken Willetts who trapped and recorded this Broken Barred Carpet moth over night. Great record as this moth is not that common in the Teme Valley.

            

                                                                                 Broken Barred Carpet Moth                                      Photo : Ken Willetts

5 June At Ham Bridge, Claudia Kazim reported a very young dead Otter on the road today. Great to hear that Otters are doing well on the Teme. Unfortunate though re being a road kill. And yet another Tree Bee spot in the Valley. This time by Simone Arnold who took this picture in her garden of the Tree Bee and a Buff Tailed Bee on a flower.

                                                

                                                                 Tree Bee (Bombus hypnorum)             Photo : Simone Arnold

4 June At Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman has been out and about on her patch and taken these great images. The first is of a pair of Canadian Geese which have nested on her pool and are currently rearing five young. The second is of a rather messy Starlings nest. Nothing like letting people know where you're nesting!! The third picture, Caroline believes is Hover fly larvae on Hogweed, unless you know differently! And the final image is of one of the many Ground beetles we have in the area.

             

                                                                  Canadian Geese and young                                      Photo : Caroline Roseman

                                  

                                                                                                  Starling Nest                                      Photo : Caroline Roseman

            

                                                                        Hover fly larvae on Hogweed                            Photo : Caroline Roseman

            

                                                                                      Ground Beetle                                      Photo : Caroline Roseman

On Oldwood Common, John Abbiss photographed these two caterpillars and correctly identified them as the Vapourer Moth and Yellow Tail Moth.

            

                                                                                 Vapourer Moth Caterpillar                                  Photo : John Abbiss

            

                                                                                 Yellow Tail Moth Caterpillar                                  Photo : John Abbiss

3 June After saying there are only a handful of green coloured moths in the UK, Ken Willetts trapped another green species last night, this stunning Green Arches moth. This is rather an early emergence for this species as it is not usually seen until late July / August. The larvae feed on Oak buds and leaves. The second image Ken sent in is that of a moth called ...the Scorched Wing. Its not difficult to figure out why the Victorian entomologists called it this!

             

                                                                                 Green Arches Moth                                      Photo : Ken Willetts

 

            

                                                                                 Scorched Wing Moth                                      Photo : Ken Willetts

 

2 June Pete & Vicki Stevens at Lower Frith report the Cuckoo is still being heard in the Dumbleton Lane area. They also report seeing a Red Kite drift over their house this evening.

Ken Willetts moth trap is really producing some stunning moths of late. Last night saw this stunning Green Silver Lines moth come in. One of only a handful of Green moths in the UK.

            

                                                                                 Green Silver Lines                                      Photo : Ken Willetts

1 June Ken Willetts took this stunning Elephant Hawk Moth at his light trap last night. First one of the year. Meantime, at Knighton on Teme, Richard Pill has been out with his new camera and took this fantastic image of a Broad Bodied Chaser dragonfly. Super image Richard!

            

                                                                             Broad Bodied Chaser                                      Photo : Richard Pill

            

                                                                             Elephant hawk Moth                                      Photo : Ken Willetts

31 May Another quite smart looking little micro moth that came into Ken Willetts light trap on the HighWood last night. This is A.badiana, a tiny moth measuring only a few millimeters. The larvae of this moth feed on Vetches, Peas and Clover.

                      

                                                                             1126 A.badiana                                      Photo : Ken Willetts

 

30 May In Tenbury near St Mary's Church, Faye Pritchard heard a Cuckoo. The first one we think, reported from this area.  And John Abbiss has been out and about with his camera again. The last two pictures are taken from the Wyre Forest, just out of our usual reporting area. They show Wood Ants and a Silver Washed Fritilary If you are interested in seeing this butterfly in our area, go look in Hunthouse Wood where it is present.  John also sent in these other pictures from his garden at Oldwood Common.

            

                                                                   Great Spotted Woodpecker (Male)                             Photo : John Abbiss

            

                                                                                  Mullein Moth Caterpillar                                  Photo : John Abbiss

            

                                                                                  Buff Tip Moths in Cop                                  Photo : John Abbiss

            

                                                                        Wood Ants in the Wyre Forest                              Photo : John Abbiss

            

                                                               Silver Washed Fritillary in the Wyre Forest                      Photo : John Abbiss

29 May Stuart Smith met someone today who was aware of a Blackbird feeding a Cuckoo fledgling at a nest in Martley. And Brian Marsh at Eardiston reports having Tree Bees nesting under his roof tiles. These bees are relatively new to the UK, but we have now had several local reports of them being in and around the Teme Valley in good numbers. Keep a look out for them, they have a very distinctive coluration, being a chestnut brown thorax, a black abdomen with a white backside!! If you see any, let us know.

28 May At Upper Sapey, Sandra Morton had two Cuckoos calling at one time from two different woods. Sandra has also had a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker in her orchard too. This is a 'first' for her and a great record, as these birds are very scarce in these parts.

27 May On the Cuckoo front again, regular contributors, Caroline Roseman at Lower Rochford, Vicki Stevens at Lower Frith Common and David Evans at Menith Wood all heard a Cuckoo in their respective patches today. All these birds have been reported before by these folk, so clearly there are stable Cuckoo territories in these areas.

Vicki Stevens also sent in this great photo of a moth they found in the house which Vicki correctly identified as a White Ermine. This year has been a particularly good year for this species with lots turning up at light traps in the area. The larvae are quite gregarious, feeding on a variety of herbaceous plants.

            

                                                                            White Ermine Moth                                       Photos : Vicki Stevens

Over at Knighton on Teme, Margaret Bradley saw this Little Owl fly into a Damson tree in the Orchard, so she popped back indoors to get her camera. Fortunately it was still there. Later, she got it perched on one of the farm buildings. Great photos to see Margaret.

 

            

            

                                                                                         Little Owl                                       Photos : Margaret Bradley

26 May Over towards Oldwood Common, David Patrick heard a Cuckoo briefly from his house today.

23 May Following our appeal for Cuckoo updates locally, we have now had the following information in which shows that there are several birds around in the Teme Valley Area. The following people have reported birds which are probably all different birds, staying in the same general area for at least the last two weeks.

Cuckoo's have been reported by:

     David Faulkner - Knowbury

     Phil Morgan & Mike Harley - Menith Wood (Phil also saw a Stoat by the Cross Keys in Menith Wood today)

     Tim Studer - Kingswood

     Julia Berry & Anna Turner - Stoke Bliss

     Angie Hill - Martley

     Steph Mocroft & Nick & Sheila Benbow - Frith Common

     Sandra Morton - Upper Sapey

     Cherie Jordan - Lower Frith

     Suzanne Thomas - Coreley and Catherton Common

     David Whymant - Pensax Common (two birds)

     Wanda Arnold - Upper Rochford

     Joyce Horsforth - Eastham

The above reports all corroborate with earlier reports from other people of birds in the various areas. Thanks to everybody who has been sending in Cuckoo reports in. This means that within our Teme Valley area, there are probably at least 12 calling Cuckoo's which is double the number reported last year. Great news for a bird in decline.

At Frith Common, Nick Benbow says that they have already got fledgling House Sparrows, Song Thrush, Blackbirds and Blue Tits and that Starlings are nesting in an old tree. Nick also came across three Slow Worms in the compost heap today.

At Rochford, Jo Sothers report a pair of Redstart nesting in one of their nest boxes by the house. What a great Garden record that is!

And up on Oldwood Common, John Abbiss sent in this selection of photos, having been out with his camera.

            

                                                   Webs made by caterpillars of the Spindle Ermine moth               Photo : John Abbiss

            

                                                                                              Baby Rabbit                                 Photo : John Abbiss

22 May On the Highwood, Ken Willetts trapped and recorded three new species of moth for the year. Like the Small Magpie Chris Kemble recorded yesterday, the first of the moths, the Pseudargyrotoza conwagana also has larvae that feed on Ash.

                

                                                                            Pseudargyrotoza conwagana                           Photo : Ken Willetts

                           

                                                                                          Ingrailed Clay                                      Photo : Ken Willetts

                            

                                                                                          Shuttle Shaped Dart                         Photo : Ken Willetts

21 May At Knighton on Teme, Chris Kemble reports still hearing the Cuckoo about. She also found this colourful  moth on the window this morning. This is known as the Small Magpie Moth. The larvae of this species feed on Ash, hence there is plenty of the food plant about in the Valley for this species to feed on.

            

                                                                                          Small Magpie Moth                             Photo : Chris Kemble

18 May At Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold trapped and recorded this tiny micro moth over night. Not that common locallY, as the larvae feed on Lilac and Privet. Caloptilia syringella this is one of the easier of the Caloptilia species to identify. .

            

                                                                                   293 Caloptilia syringella                             Photo : Danny Arnold

At Boraston, Geoff Wookey has had two Spotted Flycatchers return to the garden, looking for a nest site. And over at Stoke Bliss, Chris & Jenny Rodgers took this photo of a Broad Bodied Chaser Dragonfly as it emerged from the water having pupated. The wings were still drying at the time this shot was taken.

            

                                                                                   Broad Bodied Chaser                             Photo : Chris & Jenny Rodgers

17 May At Oldwood Common, John Abbiss has been out with his camera again today. The Common is currently covered in Buttercups. John also photographed a Mayfly nymph, A Mistle Thrush and some Ribwort Plantain.

             

                                                                     Buttercups on Oldwood Common                         Photo : John Abbiss

                            

                                                                                                  Mayfly                         Photo : John Abbiss

            

                                                                                         Mistle Thrush                                Photo : John Abbiss

            

                                                                                         Ribwort Plantain                                Photo : John Abbiss

And at Boraston, Geoff Wookey trapped and recorded this rather early Small Square Spot moth.

            

                                                                                     Small Square Spot Moth                             Photo : Geoff Wookey

16 May At Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold took this tiny white moth at a light trap over night. Measuring only around 5mm in length, the larvae of this Elachista argentella moth, lives and feeds both in and on a variety of grasses.

            

                                                                                   610 Elachista argentella                            Photo : Danny Arnold

 

15 May Vicki Stevens at Lower Frith recorded a Cuckoo again this morning, as did Geoff Wookey at Boraston. Geoff also had a Red Kite over the house this morning. A Red Kite was seen later in the day over Upper Rochford by Danny Arnold who also heard a Cuckoo in the wood at Hill Top.

13 May Geoff Wookey trapped and recorded this Lime Hawk moth at his light trap over night. As the name implies, this species is somewhat dependant on the Lime tree in its larval form, although it will utilise other deciduous species if Lime is not present.

            

                                                                                     Lime Hawk Moth                             Photo : Geoff Wookey

12 May John Abbiss has been out with his camera again today. Took some great photos of plants on one of the lanes off and around Oldwood Common. Thanks to Caroline Roseman for confirming the ID's.

            

                                                                                          Large Red Damselfly                                Photo : John Abbiss

            

                                                                                                 Herb Paris                                Photo : John Abbiss

            

                                                                                                   Alkanet                                       Photo : John Abbiss

            

                                                                                                Stitchwort                                       Photo : John Abbiss

            

                                                                  Forget-me-not & gerrymander Speedwell.                     Photo : John Abbiss

            

                                                                                          Hawthorn in flower.                                Photo : John Abbiss

10 May At Boraston, Geoff Wookey took a whole host of new moth species for the year at his light trap over night. They included, Common Marbled Carpet, Chocolate Tip and this stunning Clouded Bordered Brindle.

            

                                                                                     Clouded Bordered Brindle                       Photo : Geoff Wookey

6 May There appears to be some Cuckoo's about today. Alan Micklethwait both heard and saw the bird at Lower Rochford Church this morning. And over at Kingswood west of Martley, Tim Studer heard a bird calling.

Over at Oldwood Common, John Abbiss was out in the garden an took a range of interesting photos. If anybody can name and identify the flies, we would like to hear from them.

            

                                                                                           A frog in the pond                                Photo : John Abbiss

            

                                                                             A common or smooth Newt                          Photo : John Abbiss

            

                                                                             Mating Orange-tip butterflies                            Photo : John Abbiss

            

                                                                                                   Fly 1                                                 Photo : John Abbiss

            

                                                                                                   Fly 2                                                 Photo : John Abbiss

            

                                                                              Unidentified caterpillar                                  Photo : John Abbiss

4 May New in for the year, Geoff Wookey recorded these two species of moth from his light trap last night. Measuring in at just over two and a half inches in wing span, this Poplar Hawk Moth came in. This is the most common of the Hawk Moths we have in the Teme Valley and the species will be about until well into the summer. The other species is a less common one, going by the name of Coxcomb Prominent, the larvae of which feed on a range of deciduous plants.

            

                                                                                  Poplar Hawk Moth                     Photo : Geoff Wookey

             

                                                                                  Coxcomb Prominent                     Photo : Geoff Wookey

3 May At Lower Frith, Rob Humphreys had a Red Kite circling around at 10am this morning.

2 May Two Cuckoo's heard today in different locations. One by Doh Gannon at Sapey Common, in the woods towards Clifton. The other, by Vicki Stevens who heard a bird in the Dumbleton Lane area of Eardiston.

1 May Nick Benbow had his first Cuckoo calling today. It was the one reported from over at Menith Wood. Presumably the same bird? At Highwood, Ken Willetts took this Tawny Pinion which was a new moth for his garden list. This species is not very common and has hardly been seen at all for the past two years locally. This year however, it does seem to be doing better with a few more being trapped in the local light traps.

                                 

                                                                                          Tawny Pinion                                      Photo : Ken Willetts

30 April Mike Harley sent an email across to say that the Cuckoo is still around at Menith Wood. Almost certainly the same bird as reported earlier, now setting up a territory. Geoff Wookey was out in the garden at Boraston cutting the grass when two small moths alighted on his jumper. They turned out to be Small Yellow Underwing....and it turns out, that there have only ever been two other records for this species in the Teme Valley!

            

                                                                                   Small Yellow Underwing                     Photo : Geoff Wookey

And whilst on moths, last night saw three new species for the year for Ken Willetts light trap. Ken lured in to his trap and recorded, White Pinion Spotted, Least Black Arches and a tiny Parornix species. Ken also took a walk out to Hunthouse Wood to photograph the Bluebells today.

               

                                                                                           Least Black Arches                                      Photo : Ken Willetts

             

                                                                                White Pinion Spotted                                  Photo : Ken Willetts

             

                                                                              A tiny Parornix species of moth                           Photo : Ken Willetts

             

             

                                                                         Bluebells in Hunthouse Wood                                  Photos : Ken Willetts

29 April Chris Kemble heard the Cuckoo at Knighton on Teme again today, indicating that it looks like the bird is staying in the area setting up a territory. And over at Upper Rochford, Chris Mussell spotted the Tawny Owl roosting in the same tree as reported a few days ago.

28 April Cathy Tongue at Lower Frith heard her first Cuckoo of the year. Infact, the first Cuckoo from her new house, having recently just moved in.

27 April Over at Woonton today, Alastair Hardy heard his first Cuckoo from the house today. Ken Willetts took his camera up onto the Clee today and managed to photograph this male Wheatear. In Ashbed Woods today, Geoff Wookey heard his first Willow Warbler . In fact, this is the first record we have received for this bird this year.

            

                                                                                           Wheatear                                            Photo : Ken Willetts

At Great Witley, Sallyann Williams took this lovely photo of a Wood Mouse that was totally unaware of their close proximity and to the camera in hand.

             

                                                                                   Wood Mouse                                      Photo : Sallyann Williams

26 April Like Ken Willetts a couple of nights ago, Geoff Wookey's light trap also pulled in a Muslin moth overnight. Geoff also trapped and recorded this spectacular Waved Umber. What fantastic camouflage!

            

                                                                                   Waved Umber                                      Photo : Geoff Wookey

25 April At Lower Rochford today , Caroline Roseman sent in this photo of a bee at her window. Caroline has identified it as Bombus pascuorum.

            

                                                                               Bombus pascuorum                                      Photo : Caroline Roseman

24 April At Wolferlow, Stuart Smith had the Yellow Wagtail back again today, along with seven Wheatear and two Mistle Thrushes.

On the Highwood, Ken Willetts recorded this Frosted Green Moth over night. A nice species that is not overly common in this area.

           

                                                                                           Frosted Green Moth                                 Photo : Ken Willetts

At Knighton on Teme, Chris Kemble reports hearing her first Cuckoo of the year today. Chris also sent in these two shots from her garden. Two Small Tortoiseshell butterflies and a Heron.

            

                                                                    Small Tortoiseshell butterflies                                 Photo : Chris Kemble

            

                                                                                          Heron                                 Photo : Chris Kemble

At Upper Rochford, Elizabeth Knowles heard her first Cuckoo of the year today and, possibly the same bird, at Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman heard the Cuckoo today from her house, first time in years she says. Caroline also saw a Red Kite fly over. Caroline also sent in these three 'tree' pictures. The first shows an amazing array of fungi on a fallen tree in the orchard. The second shows a Black Poplar with a lot of humous in the cleft of the branches, with a Hawthorn growing in it. And the third, a tree that had fallen in the wind, yet is still flowering.

            

                                                                                                  Fungi                                      Photo : Caroline Roseman

                                

                                                                     Hawthorn growing on Black Poplar                       Photo : Caroline Roseman

            

                                                                           Fallen Flowering Tree                                      Photo : Caroline Roseman

Then a further three shots :

            

                                                                           Black Poplar Catkin                                      Photo : Caroline Roseman

            

                                                                                               Herb Robert                              Photo : Caroline Roseman

                                   

                                                                           Bracket Fungi on dead Tree                          Photo : Caroline Roseman

 

23 April At Lower Frith, Catherine Tounge found a 'midwife Toad' at the back of a hedge today, carrying eggs.

22 April Clearly staying in the same territory now, Mike Harley heard the Cuckoo at Menith Wood this morning.

21 April At Stoke Bliss, Chris & Jenny Rodgers heard their first Cuckoo calling of the year. And at Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman, whilst out gardening saw that the Swallows and House Martins were back around the House. She also reports seeing several Orange Tip Butterflies in the garden.

20 April On the Little Hereford side of Burford, Peter & Mary Hitt heard their first Cuckoo of the year today. And on the Highwood, Ken Willetts light trap tempted in this Muslin Moth.

            

                                                                                           Muslin Moth                                 Photo : Ken Willetts

19 April At Menith Wood, Peter Thomas was awoken by the arrival of a Cuckoo in the garden, calling at 5am this morning!

At Wolferlow, Stuart Smith reports seeing 1-3 Wheatear in his field each morning over the last week as they migrate through but, this morning he had seven (5 male, 2 female) and a Meadow Pipit (last week it was 11 meadow pipits). He also reports that Chiffchaffs back in numbers now and Swallows arrived on the 15th, just one day earlier than last year.

                                 

                                                                             Male Wheatear                 Photo : Stuart Smith

On the Highwood, Ken Willetts light trap brought in the Powdered Quaker Moth last night.

                 

                                                                             Powdered Quaker                              Photo : Ken Willetts

And on Oldwood Common, John Abbiss too these couple of shots from in his shed and the garden.

            

                                                                             A 'House Spider' in the shed!                 Photo : John Abbiss

            

                                                                                      Angle Shades Moth                                   Photo : John Abbiss

            

                                                                 Plenty of pollinating insects about today                 Photo : John Abbiss

17 April A Tawny Owl was noted sitting in a tree at Rochford early this morning by Chris Mussell.

Meantime, up on the Clee, Dave Barnes managed to get this quick snap of a Stoat.

                                       

                                                                                             Stoat                                  Photo : Dave Barnes

16 April At Neen Sollars, Eric Davies took a couple of butterfly photographs in the garden. The first of a Holly Blue and the second, a male Orange Tip. Eric also photographed a pair of Goosander on the River Rea at Neen Sollars.

            

                                                                                             Holly Blue                                  Photo : Eric Davies

            

                                                                                             Orange Tip                                  Photo : Eric Davies

            

                                                                                             Goosander                                  Photo : Eric Davies

At Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold took this shot of a Mallard on one of his pools.

            

                                                                                      Mallard                                          Photo: Danny Arnold

15 April At Boraston, Geoff Wookey spotted a Tawny Owl roosting in a tree in Ashbed woods today. And later in the garden, he noted his Housemartins were back nest building under the eaves of the house. In the light trap last night, Geoff also trapped and recorded this Pebble Prominent moth.

            

                                                                                   Pebble Prominent                               Photo: Geoff Wookey

And the Red Kite that was spotted out towards Hanley Broadheath and the Upper Sapey Crossroads, was again spotted today, this time by Tim Studer. Tim just managed to get a quick photo with his phone.

            

                                                                                              Red Kite                                         Photo: Tim Studer

And Alan Althorp also had a Red Kite at Dinham Bridge at 5:30pm this afternoon.

13 April Clearly a large influx of Swallows have come in over the past 24 hours. At Boraston, Geoff Wookey reported his first for the year over the house. At Hillwood, Jeremy Hughes reported them over his farmhouse, and he also saw a Red Kite between the Fox pub and Upper Sapey cross roads at 2.15pm today. Rob Humpherys had a pair of Swallows at Eardiston, John Abbiss at Oldwood Common had Swallows going over, as did Chris Mussell at Stanford Bridge. Like Jeremy, Chris also saw the Red Kite this afternoon, which could well be the same bird as the two sightings were geographically quite close both in terms of timings and proximity. Brian Draper also had Swallows at the Tally Ho pub at Broadheath. Summer is here!

The Wildlife Group had its first walk of the year today. This was held over at Neen Sollars led by Alastair Hardy and Steph Mocroft

               .                                   

                                                                          The walk around Neen Sollars      Photo : Austin Palmer

And whilst a little out of our area, Eric Davies took this brilliant photo of a Yellow Wagtail whilst down at the gravel pits at Grimley today. Yellow Wagtails are never reported in the Teme Valley.....unless you know differently!...Let us know if you see one.

           

                                                                                             Yellow Wagtail                                  Photo : Eric Davies

At Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold took advantage of the blue sky and white Cherry Blossom to capture this image.

            

                                                                                      Cherry Blossom                                          Photo: Danny Arnold

12 April At Clifton on Teme, Roger Arnold spooked a Snipe out of some cover on his walk around his patch. He also reports his first Swallow of the year too. Two Red Kites have also been spotted in the area.

Meanwhile over at Boraston, Geoff Wookey had his light trap out last night an lured in yet another Ypsolopha mucronella, the fifth record for Shropshire by our reckoning. Geoff also recorded this very early Brimstone Moth (not to be confused with the Brimstone Butterfly) and a Powdered Quaker, which was new for his garden moth list. He also sent across this image of a couple of Blackbird fledglings. They got up and went the following day!

            

                                                                                   451 Ypsolopha mucronella                               Photo: Geoff Wookey

            

                                                                                   Brimstone Moth                               Photo: Geoff Wookey

            

                                                                                   Powdered Quaker                               Photo: Geoff Wookey

            

                                                                                   Fledgling Blackbirds                               Photo: Geoff Wookey

11 April In the garden today, Pete Thorp had a Beefly on the flowers. First he's seen he said. And over at Lower Frith Common, Rob Humphreys had his first Swallows back.

10 April Bettering yesterdays sighting, Pete Stevens had Two Red Kite over his house at Lower Frith today, drifting upstream towards Eastham and Rochford.

9 April Annabel Elliott emailed to say that she has had her first sighting of a Swallow at her house at Hanley Childe today, flying into the outbuildings checking out last year's nest sites - 6 days earlier than last year.

Pete Stevens had a Red Kite drifting over the house at Lower Frith Common today, in both directions a couple of hours apart.

And on the Highwood, Ken Willetts light trap trapped this Lunar Marbled Brown Moth last night. Rather early for this species but always nice to see. And less nice to see, he also photographed one of many rabbits which continually attack his veg patch!

            

                                                                                        Rabbit attack!                               Photo: Ken Willetts

            

                                                                                        Lunar Marbled Brown                               Photo: Ken Willetts

8 April Two more Red Kite sightings today. One on the A44 on the Worcs / Herefordshire border spotted by Brenda Allan and the other by Janice Lucas flying over a field adjacent to her house at Eastham.

7 April Red Kite sightings are coming in thick and fast now. At Knighton on Teme, Margaret Bradley had Two Reds Kite over one of her fields today. Meanwhile at Lower Rochford, Sandra Willmott also had a Red Kite over Rochford Church today.

Ken Willetts on the Highwood trapped and recorded this Purple Thorn moth over night.

            

                                                                                        Purple Thorn                               Photo: Ken Willetts

And John Abbiss at Oldwood Common John had a large flock of Starlings alight in a tree across the road temporarily. Just enough time to get a photo. John was also clearing some weed out of his garden pool today and found an array of water bourne insects, including this dragonfly nymph and caddis grub house made of vegetation stems, amongst the vegetation. As John says, it is important not to move such vegetation away from a pool when clearing it out. By leaving it on the side for a couple of days, it allows the water bourne invertebrates to crawl back into the water unharmed. .

            

                                                                                        Starlings                                            Photo: John Abbiss

            

                                                                                        Caddis fly larvae                                            Photo: John Abbiss

            

                                                                                        Dragonfly nymph                                            Photo: John Abbiss

6 April At Menith Wood, Phil Morgan was having a wildlife survey done on his patch. Amongst other things, this Yellow Necked Mouse turned up.

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                                                                                        Yellow necked Mouse                                   Photo: Phil Morgan

At Danny Arnold's light trap at Upper Rochford, this tiny but very distinctive micro moth came in. Epermenia chaerophyllella The larvae feed on Hogweed, Wild Parsnip and Angelica.

            

                                                                        483 Epermenia chaerophyllella                          Photo: Danny Arnold

4 April Elissa Hughes reports two Red Kite sightings recently over Pitlands farm at Clifton (15th March & 2nd April) and over Park Lane, Sapey Common on the 16th March. Elissa says that geographically, these two sites are very close together, so it could well be the same bird.

3 April At Abberley, Wilfred Bennett had a Red Kite drift over today. At Caynham, David Faulkner's Lesser Redpoll were back and this time, he managed to get a photo. Well done David. And at Highwood, Ken Willetts trapped and recorded this relatively scarce macro moth the Lead Coloured Drab.

            

                                                                                     Lesser Redpoll                               Photo: David Faulkner

                        

                                                                                     The Lead Coloured Drab                               Photo: Ken Willetts

2 April More busy moth traps on either side of the Valley last night. Geoff Wookey at Boraston recorded several species including this 451 Ypsolopha mucronella. Geoff already has the second and third records for Shropshire for this species and this specimen is the fourth record for the County. Interestingly, Geoff also says that the first record was as a larvae found at Stokesay, so in fact, Geoff has had all three adult moths for this species recorded in Shropshire. Geoff also took last night, Brindled Beauty and a Streamer, so called because of its streamer type wing markings.

            

                                                                                    451 Ypsolopha mucronella                               Photo: Geoff Wookey

               

                                                                                    Brindled Beauty                               Photo: Geoff Wookey

            

                                                                                    Streamer Moth                               Photo: Geoff Wookey

On the other side of the Valley, Ken Willetts took these two species.

            

                                                                                     The Herald Moth                               Photo: Ken Willetts

                   

                                                                                     663 Diurnea fagella                               Photo: Ken Willetts

1 April David Faulkner over at Caynham reports a pair of Bullfinch in the garden. The first time in several years he says. David also had a male Lesser Redpoll in full breeding plumage and to top the day off, a Red Kite flew over....twice! Great days birding in the back garden! And whilst on Red Kite's, Chris Mussell had a Red Kite over his garden today too at Stanford Bridge. This bird was flying off towards Sapey Common / Clifton hotly pursued by two Jackdaws.

31 March Geoff Wookey and Ken Willetts moth traps were busy overnight. Ken took this tiny micro moth Mompha substrigella whilst Geoff took his first Pug moth of the year. Fortunately it was about the easiest of this group to identify, a Double Striped Pug.

            

                                                                                     Mompha substrigella                               Photo: Ken Willetts

            

                                                                                     Double Striped Pug                               Photo: Geoff Wookey

Meanwhile at Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman also had her camera out and took some lovely images of wildlife on her patch.

            

                                                                                     Woodpecker Nest??                               Photo: Caroline Roseman

            

                                                                                     Baren Strawberry                               Photo: Caroline Roseman

                                

                                                                                     March Cowslip                               Photo: Caroline Roseman

                                

                                                                                     Greater Stichwort                               Photo: Caroline Roseman

            

                                                                                     Wood anemone                               Photo: Caroline Roseman

30 March Geoff Wookey over at Boraston had a female Goshawk flying low over the fields and being pursued by a couple of Crows adjacent to Ashbed Woods today. A first for Geoff's patch.

 

28 March Jeremy Hughes reports seeing a Red Kite at Stockton Today. Whilst up at Clifton - on - Teme , Lynda Emery managed to get this great photo of a Lesser Redpoll in the garden today. Lyn says its the first one she's had in the garden, so even better she got the photo too. Great record Lyn.

                                 

                                                                                     Lesser Redpoll                               Photo: Lynda Emery

27 March Vicki Stevens saw a Red Kite low over Woodston flying to wards Eardiston at mid-day today.

25 March Sandra Morton sent over an email saying that she had a Merlin sighting on her farm today. This is a great record for this relatively scarce raptor in the Teme Valley.

On the Highwood, Ken Willetts managed to photograph a Red Kite that was flying low over his house in the morning drizzle. Interestingly, this bird had wing tags. On the Left wing was a black tag number 08 and on the Right wing was a yellow tag 08. The colour coding tells us that this is a Welsh bird (Black left wing tag) and was tagged as a juvenile in 2013 (Yellow right wing tag) - i.e. is a 1 year old this year. There was a yellow tag also used in 2004, but local Red Kite expert Leo Smith confirms this is a bird from last year based on colouring and degree of wing fork. For more info on the tagging code system used to determine where these birds are from and how old they are, follow this link http://www.gigrin.co.uk/redkitetags-explained.php

            

            

               

                                                                                     Wing Tagged Red Kite                               Photos: Ken Willetts

24 March Chris & Jenny Rogers report seeing a Red Kite on the Tenbury / Bromyard road today. Meanwhile, Tim Studer over at Martley reports the first Swallows of the year back in the area. He had three over his house this morning. He says that these are about three weeks earlier than usual. Tim also came across this Dark edged bee fly in the garden at the weekend. There are several species of Bee-fly in the UK, of which, this is the largest and most common.

            

                                                                                     Dark edged Bee-fly                               Photo: Tim Studer

23 March More evidence that rare moths do extremely well in the Teme Valley habitats. This White Marked Moth came to Ken Willetts light trap over night.

                             

                                                                                     White Marked Moth                               Photo: Ken Willetts

22 March At Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold came across this Nuthatch making a nest in an old Woodpecker hole in an Ash tree. Nuthatch will typically use old holes, which if too big for their needs, they will reduce the opening size by partially blocking up the hole with mud. Hence what this bird was doing with a beak full of mud.

            

                                                                                        Nuthatch                                                Photo: Danny Arnold

Also at Upper Rochford, Danny came across this rather tattered Small Tortoiseshell butterfly making the most of the spring sunshine today. This butterfly, given its condition, had almost certainly over wintered as an adult.

            

                                                                                        Small Tortoiseshell                             Photo: Danny Arnold

21 March At the Highwood / Eastham junction on the lower road, Jeremy Hughes reports seeing a Red Kite over the field today. This is only the second record this year in the Valley.

Another one of the very small micro moths that can be found at this time of year. This Agonopterix arenella came to light for Ken Willetts last night.

                        

                                                                                     Agonopterix arenella                              Photo: Ken Willetts

20 March Up on the Highwood, Ken Willetts trap was again buzzing over night. Ken sent in this image of the Water Carpet moth, the first that's been recorded this year in the Teme Valley. Some years this moth appears in good numbers. Other years, less so. It'll be interesting to see how it fairs in 2014. The larvae feed on bedstraws. The adult is found in damp woodland and scrub.

            

                                                                                       Water Carpet Moth                               Photo: Ken Willetts

            

                                                                                       Early Thorn                                             Photo: Ken Willetts

19 March It just goes to show the benefit of persistent recording and just how special the Teme Valley is a moth habitat in Worcs. Last night, Ken Willetts got in on the action recording another Caloptilia falconipennella, this very rare Worcs moth, just days after Danny Arnold recorded it a little further along the Valley.

            

                                                                         289 Caloptilia falconipennella                               Photo: Ken Willetts

And another rare moth came to Danny Arnold's light trap at Upper Rochford last night. This time a larger macro moth, a charcoal looking Tawny Pinion. There are currently only 21 previous records for this species in the whole of Worcs., 6 of which have come to Danny's light traps in the Teme Valley.

 

                                      

                                                                                         Tawny Pinion                     Photo: Danny Arnold

18 March At Stoke Bliss, Chris & Jenny Rogers are also reporting the presence of Brimstone Butterflies in their garden, along with Small Tortoiseshells. They also report plenty of Newt activity going on in their ponds.

In the dingle at Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold heard his first Chiffchaff of the year this morning. Spring is Sprung!

Wanda Arnold reports seeing a Red Kite very close to the road by the Church on the bank at Stanford bridge today. This is the first reported Red Kite sighting of the year in the Teme Valley.

At Highwood last night, Ken Willetts trapped this Mottled Grey moth. Danny Arnold also trapped this species at Upper Rochford last night, as indeed did Geoff Wookey at Boraston, indicating that there may have been a fresh emergence over the last few days. There are currently around ten records for this species from the Teme Valley, with most other records coming from around the Malvern area and within the Wyre Forest. So this species is quite localised. As a species, the Mottled Grey prefers damp woodland and heathland. The larvae feed on bedstraws.

           

                                                                                        Mottled Grey                                              Photo: Ken Willetts

Another moth whose larvae feed on Bedstraws (and Groundsel in this case) is the Red Chestnut moth. This is a widespread moth in the county of Worcs, but it is worth noting that around 25% of all county records for this species comes from the Teme Valley. This individual was recorded last night by Ken  and Geoff in their respective locations.

                        

                                                                                        Red Chestnut                                              Photo: Ken Willetts

Meantime, a little lower down the slope of the valley, Danny Arnold also trapped and recorded the first White Marked moth of the year. This is a very interesting species, in so far as very little is known about its life cycle. It appears to prefer damp woodland but has yet to be found as larvae in the wild. The Teme Valley is responsible for over 70% of all White Marked records in Worcs, making it an otherwise quite scarce species in the county.

          

                                                                                  White Marked Moth                               Photo: Danny Arnold

17 March Having recorded only the fourth record for the Teme Valley of the Yellow Horned Moth a few days ago (see below), along comes the fifth record, this time to Geoff Wookey's light trap at Boraston.

            

                                                                                 Yellow Horned Moth                               Photo: Geoff Wookey

At Lower Frith, having spent last weekend in the garden sunshine, Pete Stevens reports seeing Brimstone, Comma, Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies in the garden.

16 March One of the rarest moths in Worcs, with only a handful of records, the Teme Valley is rapidly becoming the place to record this tiny Caloptilia moth. This is Caloptilia falconipennella, the larvae of which feed primarily on Alder. This was trapped to light at Upper Rochford last night, by Danny Arnold.

            

                                                                         289 Caloptilia falconipennella                               Photo: Danny Arnold

At the light trap on the Highwood, Ken Willetts sent in these two images of moths coming in over night. The Small Quaker is quite a common moth locally. The micro moth Acleris cristana, less so. One of the distinguishing features of this moth, from other similar moths, is the tuft of scales, clearly seen on Kens image.

             

                                                                                        Small Quaker                                              Photo: Ken Willetts

            

                                                                                        1054 Acleris cristana                                  Photo: Ken Willetts

15 March The Upper Rochford light trap at Danny Arnold's house produced this small, Diurnea fagella moth. This moth is quite widespread in some woodland, although not too many records turn up in the Teme Valley. The females of this species are virtually wingless and therefore flightless.

            

                                                                                        Diurnea fagella                               Photo: Danny Arnold

14 March Always nice to see at a light trap, the Pale Pinion moth. The larvae feed on Sallow and Docks. This specimen fell to Danny Arnold's light trap.

                                

                                                                                        Pale Pinion                               Photo: Danny Arnold

12 March Taking advantage of the better weather, Geoff Wookey got in on the action last night by putting his light trap out. He recorded his biggest haul of moths this year with a total of 49 moths in the trap last night. He had just 5 species though. There were good numbers of Common Quaker, Small Quaker and Hebrew Character also had one each of March Moth and Shoulder Stripe.

Meantime at Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman came across this Great Crested Newt, another species that is generally rare, but quite widespread in the Teme Valley.

            

                                                                                Great Creasted Newt                                    Photo: Caroline Roseman

11 March We are doing well for over winterinmg moths this year. Another Herald moth has come out of its winter tauper and was found by Caroline Roseman.

           

                                                                                        Herald Moth                                    Photo: Caroline Roseman

And at Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold trapped and recorded this Yellow Horned Moth over night. This is only the fourth record for the Teme Valley and is not usually found very far from old and established Woodland. It's name comes about from the fact that the males (this is a female) have quite distinctive yellow antennae.

            

                                                                                        Yellow Horned Moth                               Photo: Danny Arnold

At Stanford Bridge today, Teresa Dongworth spotted and unusual Pheasant in a field. Teresa says that she was not sure what it was to start with, but in the end decided it was definitely a completely white pheasant. Such birds are recorded, though this is the first time one has been recorded in the Teme Valley.

10 March Chris Peacock dropped a note in to say that he's got Long Tailed Tits nesting in a hedge and this morning, had an early Bat flying around the house at dawn, presumably enticed out by the warmer weather. Chris also says he's now getting a pair of Greenfinch regularly in the garden.

Over at Martley, Tim Studer had 4 Brimstone butterflies, 3 Comma, 2 Tortoiseshell and a Peacock out in the garden yesterday.

And Stuart Smith also saw a Brimstone Butterfly, at Ham Bridge yesterday. Brimstone butterflies seem to be doing well this year.

Eric Davies took a walk in the sunshine up on the Clee Hill yesterday. As well as the Skylark, which is always nice to see, Eric came across this pool that was 'rippling'. On closer inspection, he found it full of frogs and frog spawn.

            

                                                                                              Skylark                                                Photo: Eric Davies

            

                                                                                          Pool on the Clee                                   Photo: Eric Davies

            

                                                                                              Frogs                                                Photo: Eric Davies

            

                                                                                              Frogs 1                                                Photo: Eric Davies

            

                                                                                                Frogs 2                                                Photo: Eric Davies

....And here are some more images of spring moths coming into Ken Willetts light trap over night.

                             

                                                                                           Early Grey                             Photo: Ken Willetts

            

                                                                                        Engrailed                                              Photo: Ken Willetts

                           

                                                                                        Grey Shoulder Knot                             Photo: Ken Willetts

9 March The Victorian entomologists were responsible for most of the vernacular or common names given to our moths. Very often, the name reflected something to do with the moth itself. This is a good example, the Twin Spotted Quaker recorded overnight by Ken Willetts.

            

                                                                                        Twin Spotted Quaker                             Photo: Ken Willetts

And in Danny Arnold's light trap at Upper Rochford, this tiny green Acleris literana moth came in to light over night. This moth that is associated with Oak, does very well in the Teme Valley, though is less widespread elsewhere in Worcs.

                                 

                                                                                     1061 Acleris literana                             Photo : Danny Arnold

8 March Moths are coming in to the light traps all round the valley now that the weather has improved and got a little warmer.

A nice little micro moth came into Danny Arnold's light trap last night Agonopterix alstromeriana. This is a species that first appears in August typically and over winters as an adult going through to about April. The larvae feed on Hemlock.

            

                                                                      695 Agonopterix alstromeriana                       Photo : Danny Arnold  

7 March On the Highwood, Ken Willetts took this harbinger of Spring, the Clouded Drab moth. One of the more common moths at this time of year, but very variable in colour, from this grey form, to an almost chestnut red colour.

                           

                                                                                           Clouded Drab                                    Photo: Ken Willetts

Over at Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman spotted this Peacock butterfly in the garden today. Almost certainly this insect has over wintered somewhere an emerged today in the warm sunshine. Caroline also spotted this curious little moth in the house today. It is a Twenty Plume moth and only a few millimeters across. This is one of a few moths that can appear pretty much at any time of year.

            

                                                                                  Twenty Plume Moth                                    Photo: Caroline Roseman

 

            

                                                                                Peacock Butterfly                                    Photo: Caroline Roseman

6 March At Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold trapped this Shoulder Stripe moth in his light trap over night. Some years this moth is hardly seen. This year it appears to be doing quite well, as there have been several records this year.

            

                                                                                           Shoulder Stripe                                    Photo: Danny Arnold

3 March Steve Whitehouse got in touch to say that there had been six Crossbill seen in some larches SW of Stanford Bridge on the B4203 today.

2 March David Norsworthy sent in this wonderful photo of seven over wintering Herald Moths and a lone Red Admiral. He was moving some boxes in a barn and thought at first they were dead leaves. Herald moths are often one of the last macros to be seen in the year and having over wintered are usually one of the first to be seen in the Spring.

            

                                                                                             Herald Moths                                Photo: David Norsworthy

On the Highwood, Ken Willetts had his light trap on last night a recorded rather appropriately this freshly emerged March Moth. Ken also took the two forms of the Satellite Moth, one with white markings the other with Orange. These two photographs show a good comparison.

                        

                                                                                             March Moth                                                 Photo: Ken Willetts

            

                                                                               Two forms of the Satellite Moth                               Photo: Ken Willetts

On Oldwood Common, John Abbiss had five Bewick Swans flying over in an Easterly direction.

1 March Over at Stoke Bliss, Chris & Jenny Rogers have had a Bullfinch in the garden for the first time in many years they said. They have also had a pair of Muntjac wandering over the lawns.

Meantime in Tenbury, David Patrick took this shot of a Lesser Redpoll feeding on niger seeds with a Goldfinch. Not too many Lesser Redpoll have been reported this year, so a nice record.

            

                                                                                  Lesser Redpoll & Goldfinch                               Photo: David Patrick

28 February At Ashbed Woods, Geoff Wookey spotted a pair of Goosander. And at home, a male Siskin has joined the female he had a few days ago.

27 February On the High Wood, Ken Willetts took advantage of some sunshine today to take these images of wildlife in the garden.

            

                                                                                              Beetle                                                 Photo: Ken Willetts

            

                                                                                           Dunnock                                                 Photo: Ken Willetts

            

                                                                                                 Bullfinch                                             Photo: Ken Willetts

                  

                                                                                                Robin                                             Photo: Ken Willetts

26 February A possible Pine Marten sighting near Stanford Bridge was reported today. The recorder was confident in her identification in the Bitch Berrow area.

25 February Whilst out walking the dog at Ashbed Woods today, Geoff Wookey sent up a Woodcock from the undergrowth.

The better weather prompted Ken Willetts to get out with his camera again today, resulting in these two close up photos of two of our less common garden visitors. The Long Tailed Tit and a female Siskin.

                                    

                                                                                   Long Tailed Tit                                       Photo: Ken Willetts

            

                                                                                   female Siskin                                       Photo: Ken Willetts

At Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman noticed at least two bee species feeding on the early nectar of the crocus's in the garden.

            

            

                                                                                 Bees feeding on crocus nectar                Photos: Caroline Roseman

24 February At Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman took advantage of the better weather today and took these spring photos. Great to see the deer and the bottom of the field too!

            

                                                                                                   Deer                                         Photo: Caroline Roseman

            

                                                                                 Crocus, Daffodils & Snowdrops                Photo: Caroline Roseman

                             

                                                                                 Blackthorn flowering                   Photo: Caroline Roseman

Over at Boraston, Geoff Wookey had a female Siskin on the garden feeders this morning and whilst out walking the dogs at Ashbed Woods, came across a pair of Kestrel. A great record considering they are a species in decline. Meantime, on the Highwood, another first record for the year for Ken Willetts This time the Common Quaker Moth. This species can very often be found around sallows and willows where they feed on nectar from early flowers.

             

                                                                                    Common Quaker                                       Photo: Ken Willetts

22 February  Ken Willetts light trap didn't produce any moths last night, but this drowsy wasp did turn up. Wasps can be attracted to light traps in large numbers some nights, so the traps are always opened with some caution!

            

                                                                                           Wasp Close-up                                     Photo: Ken Willetts

21 February  And a few more moths from Ken Willetts light trap. These two moths are very common species here in the Teme Valley, but the Clouded Drab is the first reported record of 2014 for this species in the area.

            

                                                                                      Hebrew Character                                      Photo: Ken Willetts

                                   

                                                                                          Clouded Drab                                Photo: Ken Willetts

20 February  Ken Willetts light trap has finally started to produce some moths. These are the first of two new species for the year, into his light trap this year. The Pale Brindled Beauty and Dotted Border moths. Both relatively common at this time of the year in the Teme Valley. They could easily turn up at a porch light left on over night.

            

                                                                                                Dotted Border                                Photo: Ken Willetts

            

                                                                               Pale Brindled Beauty                                          Photo: Ken Willetts

18 February  At Boraston, Geoff Wookey had 6 Lesser Redpoll on the garden feeders this morning and a Reed Bunting on the hedge on the walk up to Ashbed Woods. Geoff says there is about 17 acres of unharvested Oilseed Rape on the walk up to the woods and there are massive flocks of Linnet, Chaffinch and Greenfinch, also large numbers of Goldfinch. There are also a number of Bullfinch making use of the crop and a Sparrowhawk making regular forays.

17 February  On the Highwood, Ken Willetts took advantage of the better weather and took this stunning image of the blue skies around today. He also caught this Wood Pigeon unaware too.

            

                                                                                                Blue Skies                                          Photo: Ken Willetts

                  

                                                                                              Wood pigeon                                      Photo: Ken Willetts

16 February  At Upper Rochford, the moth light traps have been running, but the evenings have been so cold, there have been no moths flying. The Last couple of night however, have been a few degrees warmer and the first Oak Beauty moth of the year turned up for Danny Arnold.

                                   

                                                                                          Oak Beauty                              Photo: Danny Arnold

12 February  At Boraston, Geoff Wookey had his first Brambling of the year. This is also the first one reported in the area this year.

11 February  Over at Oldwood Common, John Abbiss has been looking at what's about at this time of year. Firstly he noted that there was a well worn track through the bracken, which he reckons from the foot print in the mud is probably made by a badger.

            

                                                                                          Badger track                                            Photo: John Abbiss

            

                                                                                          Badger Print                                            Photo: John Abbiss

He also noted some early flowers including these orange seeds spewing from some pods on the ground and a host of Snowdrops.

                            

                                                                                         Seed pods splitting                              Photo: John Abbiss

            

                                                                                         Snowdrops                                            Photo: John Abbiss

Some Bracket fungi was showing well on some dead wood and on one of the trees, he caught sight of this Treecreeper.

            

                                                                                         Treecreeper                                            Photo: John Abbiss

            

                                                                                         Bracket Fungi                                            Photo: John Abbiss

            

                                                                                         Bracket Fungi                                            Photo: John Abbiss

10 February  Out and about, Ken Willetts snapped this close up of a Pheasant, and down at Eastham Bridge, he took a couple of photo's from above the bridge, showing how very high the water level currently is on the River Teme.

            

                                                                                                 Pheasant                                          Photo: Ken Willetts

            

                                                          Eastham Bridge up stream of the bridge 1                       Photo: Ken Willetts

            

                                                          Eastham Bridge up stream of the bridge 2                        Photo: Ken Willetts

7 February  ....And another butterfly emergence in Janice's utility room. This time a Small Tortoiseshell made a quick exit through the door.

6 February  Over at Eastham, Janice Lucas dropped an email to say that she had seen her first butterfly of the year, which had emerged in her utility room. A Small White which obviously thought it was Spring!

3 February  Oohh....I think it might rain today. This photo taken at Upper Rochford as dawn was breaking this morning.

            

                                                                     Red sky in the morning....                                          Photo: Danny Arnold

1 February  At Boraston, Rachel Packard was delighted to see three Otters moving up the brook, all witnessed from her lounge window.

27 January  Another photo from up on the Highwood. Ken Willetts says that this is a bird he always has trouble photographing as they are so skittish, you just cant get close. This is a nice image of a Fieldfare in his orchard though.

            

                                                                                                 Fieldfare                                          Photo: Ken Willetts

24 January  Up on the Highwood, Ken Willetts is happy as he's had his first moth in the light trap for 2014. This Chestnut moth came in last night. A typical winter / early spring species. The larvae feed on a range of trees as a food plant including Birch and Oak. Hence why it is such a relatively common species in the Teme Valley.

                 

                                                                                           The Chestnut                                  Photo: Ken Willetts

23 January  Up at Clifton on Teme, Simone Arnold noticed this jelly like mass growing on some wood in the garden. This is Yellow Brain Fungus, a fungi that can be found at most times of the year, though the fruiting body which this is, prefers late autumn. Clearly the mild weather has tricked it into thinking it still is autumn!

            

                                                                                         Yellow Brain Fungus                          Photo: Simone Arnold

Danny Arnold confirmed the presence of an Otter using a camera trap set up over night. It was only a tantalising glimpse as it set off the unit, but enough to confirm it wasn't mink. The Otter video footage can be seen by clicking this link. Today, Danny had two Goosander on one of the pools and a Kingfisher. Along with this quick photo taken of a Long Tailed Tit which was one of several working there way through the tree canopy over head. A Mistle Thrush was also busy sunning itself on top of a conifer.

            

                                                                                         Long Tailed Tit                                     Photo: Danny Arnold

            

                                                                                                 Mistle Thrush                                  Photo: Danny Arnold

Meanwhile, Ken Willetts made the most of the sunshine this morning and captured this very arty photo of some catkins. Has anybody else ever noticed that the catkins start out with a tiny pink flower?

            

                                                                                                  Catkins                                              Photo: Ken Willetts

22 January  Danny Arnold had a Goldcrest in the Scott's Pines this afternoon and down by the pool, was signs of an Otter's presence. Not that unusual, as when the river is in flood, they move up the dingles to cleaner water where they can feed. In the moth traps over night, Danny also trapped three of this tiny species, Yposolopha ustella. One of the few micro moths that venture out at this time of year. The larvae feed on Oak.

           

                                                                                     461 Ypsolopha ustella                              Photo: Danny Arnold

17 January  All this talk about Bullfinches last week prompted Vicki Stevens to email saying that she had her first pair of Bullfinch of the year in the garden today. Likewise, Ken Willetts also dropped a line in saying that he was getting three pairs of Bullfinch regularly in and around his feeders. Ken also sent in this fantastic close up picture of a Great Spotted Woodpecker he has coming to his feeders. What a fantastic image!

                 

                                                                      Great Spotted Woodpecker                                       Photo: Ken Willetts

16 January  At Lower Rochford , Caroline Roseman reports a Tawny Owl on her drive way a few days ago and she sent in this image of newly emerging Snowdrops. Beautiful!

            

                                                                                           Snowdrops                                            Photo: Caroline Roseman

Whilst at Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold had this tiny micro moth come into the light trap last night. The larvae of this moth Acleris sparsana feed on Beech and Sycamore and as there are not particularly common species of tree in the Teme Valley, this moth is not often recorded. It is also one of only a very few moths that can be found flying at this time of year.

                     

                                                                               1041 Acleris sparsana                           Photo: Danny Arnold

Also in the moth trap over night came this relatively large beetle, measuring 32mm. Unusual to get beetles in the moth trap at this time of year.

                      

                                                                                           Beetle                                            Photo: Danny Arnold

15 January  John Abbiss followed up on his Pied Wagtail observation yesterday and noted that this dung fly (?) landed on his window. He wonders if the Pied WAgtails are after these, as there are very few other insects around at the moment.

                                 

                                                                                           Dung fly(?)                                            Photo: John Abbiss

14 January  On Oldwood Common, John Abbiss says there are a small flock of sheep which have been penned in to graze. This has prompted a flock of 15 or so Pied Wagtails to the area, which have been there a few days now, interested in what the sheep are churning up. Worth a visit.

13 January  Traveling down through Upper Rochford this morning, Danny Arnold had a small flock of around 50 Lesser Black-backed gulls in a field. Unusual to see them this far in land.

10 January  The temperature over night was cool, (a low of 3C) with a slight ground frost this morning and whilst Ken Willetts didn't record any moths in his moth trap over night, he sent in this stunning image of a Goldfinch he took yesterday. Just along the ridge from Ken, Danny Arnold managed just a single moth record over night, the first Chestnut moth of the year.

            

                                                                                            Goldfinch                                            Photo: Ken Willetts

9 January  On the Highwood, Ken Willetts had the first Siskin of the year in his garden today. And at Abberley, Diana Parkin had 9 Goldfinch, 2 Siskin, 5 chaffinch and 1 Lesser Redpoll in the garden today.

8 January  Following the post on the 6th January about the Bullfinches, Danny Arnold had three males in one tree on his patch today. Maybe there are three pairs about, not just two? And on the other side of the river at Frith Common, Mike Harley had two pairs in his garden today also. It would be great if they are making a come back!

7 January  There are not too many micro moths that fly at this time of year. This tiny moth measuring only a few millimeters in length will have over wintered from around September last year and would normally be seen flying as the temperature warms up in April and May. But last night was fairly mild (a low of 7C) which allowed this tiny Acleris literana to venture out and into the light traps of Danny Arnold. The larvae of this moth feed on Oak, which of course is plentiful in the Teme Valley.

            

                                                                                1061 Acleris literana                                       Photo: Danny Arnold

6 January  Danny Arnold had four Bullfinch on his patch at Upper Rochford today.

5 January  And over at Knighton on Teme, Richard Pill thought his bird feeder was in a bit of a dilapidated state, so he made a new one out of a piece of Scaffold Pole and some angle iron he had lying about. Pretty substantial Richard!. That should last a life time! Send us some photos of your home made feeders!!

            

                                                                           Home made Bird Feeder                                            Photo: Richard Pill

4 January First out of the blocks this year is Ken Willetts on the Highwood who sent in this photo of a Mistle Thrush perched in an apple tree in his orchard. This shot clearly shows the white edges to the tail feathers which is diagnostic for Mistle Thrush. The Song Thrush does not have these white edges.

                       

                                                                                            Mistle Thrush                                            Photo: Ken Willetts

1st January 2014  A very Happy New Year to all our members, contributors and visitors.

 

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