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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.



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

2014 Tim Haselden Water Voles - A reintroduction project
2014   Meeting cancelled
2014 Caroline Corsie Wildlife friendly farming
2014 Harry Green & James Hitchcock The ecology of the Lime tree  ......... (Also the AGM)
2014 Dr Mark Robinson Putting in place a canal side reedbed
2014 Rebecca Lashley The Worcs Orchards Project
2014 Dr Pete Boardman Craneflies
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




  No Walk Planned




  No Walk Planned




  No Walk Planned




  Shakenhurst/Neen Sollars ‘Live and let walk’




God's Acre Walk - Hope Bagot




  Bewdley Meadows WWT reserve (A new WWT reserve)




  Abberley Hill - Circular Walk




  Far Forest / Wyre Forest Walk




  To be confirmed




  No Walk Planned




  No Walk Planned




No Walk Planned

Other Upcoming TVWG Events in 2014



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

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


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/


Weekly Update

11 April In the garden today, Pete Thorp had a Beefly on the flowers. First he's seen he said.

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.


                                                                                        Yellow necked Mouse                                   Photo: Phil Morgan

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.

30 December And we are going to finish the year with a flurry of bird photos sent in by Ken Willetts. Some truly magnificent bird images here. Starting off with that Nuthatch from yesterday, on the right side of the branch this time.


                                                                                            Nuthatch                                            Photo: Ken Willetts


                                                                                            House Sparrow                                            Photo: Ken Willetts


                                                                                            Treecreeper                                            Photo: Ken Willetts


                                                                                            Marsh Tit                                            Photo: Ken Willetts


                                                                                            Great Tit                                            Photo: Ken Willetts


                                                                                     Bullfinch - male                                            Photo: Ken Willetts

29 December  Ken Willetts took the opportunity of some brief sunshine yesterday to photograph this Nuthatch which was in the garden yesterday.


                                                                                            Nuthatch                                            Photo: Ken Willetts

25 December  Happy Christmas to all our members, friends and supporters of the Teme Valley Wildlife Group. We hope you have a great day!

20 December John Abbiss had his first male Blackcap of the winter in his garden today. Always a nice sighting!

17 December Danny Arnold had twelve Long tailed Tits on the feeder outside the lounge window this morning

13 December Ken Willetts up on the Highwood sent in this photo of a moth trapped last night. Ken correctly identifies this as a 'Twenty Plume' moth. It is one of the few species that can turn up at almost any time of the year.


                                                                         Twenty Plume moth                                     Photo: Ken Willetts


12 December Angie Hill emailed to say that she has been having large flocks of both Redwing and Fieldfare passing through her patch in Martley. She also notes that Goldcrest are evident in the woods opposite her house. On the side of the Clee, David Faulkner also notes passage of large flocks of Fieldfare in the area.


11 December Caroline Roseman emailed to say that she has two Goosander on their pool today.

10 December Charlotte MacDonald sent a note through to say that she got a really good view of a polecat yesterday evening - about a mile south of Ludlow crossing the B4361.  She says she was driving at the time, and it was dark so unfortunately, no photos!  She had to slow down to let it cross in front of her.  This is the first time she's seen a live polecat - Although she says she has seen a couple of dead ones in the past - both on the same stretch of road. Good to know they are about.

9 December Danny Arnold received notification from Tony Simpson the Worcs County Moth recorder, that the moth pictured below has been confirmed as a Saltern Ear Moth by Roy Leverton and as such, makes this the first ever Worcs County record for this species. There are four species of Ear Moth, all of which look very similar. Danny takes the common Ear Moth regularly at light, and three years ago in 2010, he took the first record for Worcs of the Large Ear moth. Now, this is another county first, of the Saltern Ear moth, which as the name somewhat implies, is more usually a coastal species. Roy Leverton, one of the leading authorities on this species, has indicated however, that it is now thought to be a migrant species and there isolated pockets elsewhere in the UK where it inhabits acid heath land. This specimen therefore could well have come down off the Clee Hills in Shropshire. This moth was tapped and recorded back in August 2013, with confirmation just coming through.


                                                     1st Record for Worcs - Saltern Ear Moth                                    Photo: Danny Arnold

8 December At Upper Rochford Danny Arnold had a large flock of Redwing moving through the birch trees on the other side of the Valley from the House. Through the scope, he could see that it was all Redwing. Surprisingly, there were no Fieldfare in such a large flock.

7 December At Stoke Bliss, Chris and Jenny Rodgers had a Red Kite sighting at the end of Bank Street. There have not been too many Red Kite sightings reported this year, so this is a good record for the area.

4 December A photo taken by David Norsworthy back in October had him intrigued as to what this caterpillar might be. We think its a Pale Tussock Moth caterpillar . Its very distinctive with the black segments between the yellow bands and the pink tail. These were quite a lot of these caterpillars around this year, showing they must have had a good breeding year this year.


                                                                         Pale Tussock Moth caterpillar                  Photo: David Norsworthy

29 November A relatively warm night for this time of year last night meant that there were a few moths about. These three came to a light trap at Ken Willetts house on the Highwood. The first two are colour variations of the Mottled Umber moth. This species is exceeding variable in colour, although the pattern stays pretty much the same. The bottom photo shows a close cousin, the Scarce Umber moth


                                                                         Mottled Umber - usual form                                    Photo: Ken Willetts


                                                                         Mottled Umber - Dark form                                     Photo: Ken Willetts


                                                                                           Scarce Umber                                     Photo: Ken Willetts

28 November At Ludlow Jim MacDonald had this December Moth come to porch light. One of only a few moths that fly at this time of year.


                                                                                        December Moth                                      Photo: Jim Macdonald

26 November Ken Willetts took advantage of the clear blue skies today and photographed these three birds on the same branch within minutes of each other. More stunning shots from Ken!


                                                                                               Marsh Tit                                          Photo: Ken Willetts


                                                                                         Green Finch                                          Photo: Ken Willetts


                                                                                               Coal Tit                                          Photo: Ken Willetts

25 November Geoff Wookey emailed again saying that he had around 14 Linnet working their way through the flower beds in the garden today, which was part of a much bigger flock of about 40 birds which were in the trees by the house. Geoff also had two Yellowhammer in the hedge close to the house yesterday, which is always a great record for these declining birds..

24 November At Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold had 70 Canada Geese flying over his patch in a northerly direction this morning.

22 November In his garden at Boraston, Geoff Wookey had the first four Lesser Redpoll in his garden this morning. Geoff also says that he saw a Goosander on the pool at Ashbed Woods.


21 November These cool mornings mean that if you are up early enough, you can get some great dew pictures as Ken Willetts shows with this Spiders Web. Ken also sent in this shot of a Grey Squirrel drinking at his pond.


                                                                                Dew laden Spiders Web                              Photo: Ken Willetts


                                                                                  Grey Squirrel drinking                              Photo: Ken Willetts

18 November Many of you will know Steph Mocroft for her botanical recording in the area, but another area of interest for Steph is in Dragonflies. She records dragonfly sightings to Mike Averill the Worcs recorder who collates all the data for the county. Steph put in her records for this year and was delighted to hear back from Mike, saying that her garden records for Large Red damselfly, Azure damselfly, and Southern Hawker were the earliest dates for these three species seen in the county this year. Better than that, her Large Red sighting of May 1st, was the very first sighting of any dragonfly or damselfly in the whole county for 2013!

17 November At Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman sent in this photo of a Hummingbird Hawk moth. This is a very late record but ties in with a small influx of migrants that have recently come in from the continent.


                                                                                Hummingbird Hawk Moth                        Photo: Caroline Roseman

16 November Over in Ludlow, Jim MacDonald sent in this photo of a Hedgehog that has been vi sting the garden over the last few nights looking for food ready for the long winter sleep. Great to see more and more of these being recorded locally.


                                                                                       Hedgehog                                           Photo: Jim MacDonald

13 November At Abberley, Alyson Lloyd sent in some photos from the summer of her daughter Rebecca holding a Hedgehog they found in the garden. Apparently, it was accompanied by two babies as well. Great to see this iconic UK mammal doing so well locally. As a foot note, congratulations to Rebecca, who through a lot of hard work and effort is now on standby for inclusion in the England U17's Euros having spent a lot of time training both at college in Solihull and at St George's Park over the last months.



                                                                       Rebecca and her Hedgehog family                Photo: Alyson Lloyd

12 November Over on Oldwood Common, John Abbiss found this interesting Spider amongst some wood he was chopping. And on the Common itself, John photographed this collection of fungi, which includes a couple of waxcap species.


                                                                                Spider - Anybody give us the ID ?                     Photo: John Abbiss


                                                                                Grassland Waxcap species                              Photo: John Abbiss


                                                                                Grassland Waxcap species                              Photo: John Abbiss


                                                                                        Pink Waxcap                                      Photo: John Abbiss


                                                                                Grassland Waxcap species                              Photo: John Abbiss

Ken Willetts sent in this photo from last night. There are two very similar species which cannot be identified by picture alone. So, this is either Winter Moth or Northern Winter Moth.


                                                                      Winter Moth or Northern Winter Moth                              Photo: Ken Willetts

11 November A couple more photos from Ken Willetts. The moths were trapped recorded and released last night and the Robin was in the garden this morning. Both moths are common at this time of year. Angle Shades is a master of disguise. looking like a dried leaf. The December Moth is one of only a few moth species flying at this time of year. It is protected by a thick covering of scales. The Robin has been paying close attention to the moth trap of late!


                                                                                                Robin                                                 Photo: Ken Willetts


                                                                                              Angle Shades                                  Photo: Ken Willetts


                                                                                        December Moth                                      Photo: Ken Willetts

8 November Ken Willetts had this nice moth in his light trap last night. The Sprawler moth. This moth is associated mainly with coniferous trees, which Ken indeed has in his garden on the Highwood.


                                                                                      The Sprawler Moth                                  Photo: Ken Willetts

7 November Angie Hill left the porch light on this evening and returned to find these two moths settled close by. Both are common winter species in the Teme Valley, but always nice to see.


                                                                                      Feathered Thorn                                               Photo: Angie Hill


                                                                                      Mottled Umber                                               Photo: Angie Hill

And talking Moths, Geoff Wookey trapped a tiny micro moth back on April 13th this year. It was kept for dissection and positive identification by Danny Arnold who confirmed it as A.purpurea. Geoff subsequently sent the record to his Shropshire moth recorder who confirmed that this was only the second record for Shropshire of this species, the first record being over 60 years ago in 1948! Great record Geoff.


                                                                                     691 Agonopterix purpurea                            Photo: Geoff Wookey

5 November Geoff Wookey reports seeing his first Cormorant of the year on the pool at Ashbed Woods today.

4 November Margaret Bradley made a tentative sighting last night of a possible Long Eared Owl in the Eastham area. This is definitely worth keeping an eye out for.

Danny Arnold had a female Sparrowhawk fly over his patch at Upper Rochford today.

3 November Caroline Roseman downloaded a host of pictures from her camera, taken over the last couple of months. Starting with this stunning sunset image from her house.


                                                                                  Sunset at Lower Rochford                   Photo: Caroline Roseman

Then came these beetles. Thanks go to Harry Green who Identified them as an Oil Beetle , Possibly Meloe rugosus  and a member of the Devils Coach Horse beetle group Staphylinus (Platydrachus) stercorarius 


                                                                                         Meloe rugosus                                Photo: Caroline Roseman


                                                               Staphylinus (Platydrachus) stercorarius                Photo: Caroline Roseman

And then this Cricket. There were a lot of these seen around the Teme Valley this year. Several of the bug hunts carried out locally reported them. (Harry Green - ID)


                                                                                  Long Winged Cone head Cricket          Photo: Caroline Roseman

Then we had some mixed Lepidoptera. I'm afraid we haven't ID'd the Caterpillar or Chrysalis case, but the butterflies and Moths were great to see, even if they did leave it till late on in the summer to appear!


                                                                                          Caterpillar                                Photo: Caroline Roseman


                                                                                          Chrysalis                                Photo: Caroline Roseman


                                                                                 Comma Butterfly                                Photo: Caroline Roseman


                                                                                 Common Blue Butterfly                                Photo: Caroline Roseman


                                                                                 Peacock Butterfly                                Photo: Caroline Roseman

And this Photograph shows really well the size difference and wing patterning differences between two very similar butterflies, the Gate Keeper and Meadow Brown Butterflies.  


                                                                Gate Keeper and Meadow Brown Butterflies                Photo: Caroline Roseman

Lots of these moths around this year in the Teme Valley. A migrant moth, the Silver Y. Showing clearly how it got its name.


                                                                                 Silver Y Moth                                Photo: Caroline Roseman

And Finally Caroline says this is a Queen Bumble Bee.


                                                                                 Queen Bumble Bee                                Photo: Caroline Roseman

1 November Jim MacDonald sent in another moth photograph from the porch light. This time it is of the stunning Angle Shades moth i


                                                                                    Angle Shades Moth                               Photo : Jim MacDonald

31 October Jim MacDonald sent in this shot of a moth perched high up on the gable end of his house wall under a security light. Jim correctly identified this as a Red Underwing.


                                                                                    Red Underwing Moth                               Photo : Jim MacDonald

28 October Danny Arnold had a flock of circa 30 Redwing fly over the house today. The first flock of the year.

25 October Pete Stevens reported a flock of circa 50 Lapwing on the fields at Eastham Bridge today. Great to see these birds back.

20 October Chris Peacock arrived home yesterday to find o pile of feathers on the lawn. Then this morning, he noticed another pile, but this time with a female Sparrowhawk in the middle of them! Chris says he watched the bird for about 15 minutes systematically plucking the pigeon it had brought down.

18 October Geoff Wookey had some good news today. On the August 25th he trapped in his moth trap over night Yponomeuta plumbella. The info was sent to his county (Shropshire) moth recorder and it turn s out that it was only the second ever county record for that species. Further more, on the 2nd August he recorded a Dusky Plume moth, which turns out to be the first ever Shropshire record away from the Stiperstones

17 October At Wolferlow, Stuart Smith sent in this list from his recent walk around his patch. Great Spotted and Green woodpeckers, two Redwings and two Mistle Thrushes guarding hawthorn supplies, four Little Grebes, two Teal, a Jay, Grey Heron, Sparrowhawk, ten Yellowhammers, two Meadow Pipits, a Mute Swan and then a large powerful raptor over the garden in the shape of a Goshawk! Great list Stuart !

15 October And whilst she is on a roll, Simone Arnold sent in another picture of another plume moth she found in the house today. This time it is the most common of all the plume moths in our area, Emmelina monodactyla  the larvae of which feed on Bindweed. Again, this adult will over winter and reappear in the spring.


                                                                   1524 Emmelina monodactyla                               Photo : Simone Arnold

14 October At Clifton on Teme, Simone Arnold sent in this photo of a small Plume moth. She says it was flying around the kitchen for a couple of days before she managed to photograph it. It is Amblyptilia punctidactyla.  The larvae feed on the flowers and unripened seeds of Woundwort amongst other things. The moth flies in two generations. This latest generation will hibernate over winter and reappear in the spring.


                                                                   1498 Amblyptilia punctidactyla                               Photo : Simone Arnold

13 October Over at Boraston, Geoff Wookey had A flock of 17 Redwing landing in one of his trees this morning. That was a first of the year for him. Talking of firsts, He also had firsts for the year of Merveille de Jour, Feathered Thorn and November Moth agg last night in the moth trap.

10 October At Martley, Angie Hill sent in this lovely image of a Silver Y moth nactaring at a thistle. The Silver Y is a migrant moth but we also have out own indigenous UK strain. At certain times of the year, there can be large influxes of this species from the near continent.


                                                                                          Silver Y Moth                                     Photos: Angie Hill

9 October At Menith Wood today, David Evans reported a Red Kite above his house. The first record of this bird for a month or so. And at Lindridge Church, Pete & Vicki Stevens came across this colourful caterpillar, complete with white tufts and bright pink tail. This is the larvae of the Pale Tussock Moth.



                                                                          Pale Tussock Moth Caterpillar                            Photos: Vicki Stevens

And at Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold trapped and recorded the first Merveille de Jour moth of the autumn. A stunning black and green moth that must surely be one of the UK's most spectacular moth species.


                                                                          Merveille de Jour                            Photo: Danny Arnold

8 October An interesting intruder last night. Ken Willetts came to empty his moth trap from last night and found a very fat and contented Wren had found its way into the moth trap. Needless to say, there weren't many moths left!. It was released unharmed and no worse for its temporary imprisonment! The picture is taken through the perspex slides in the moth trap.


                                                                                   Wren in the moth trap                           Photo: Ken Willetts

No Wrens in the trap for Geoff Wookey who recorded his first Red Line Quaker and Yellow Line Quaker moths of the year. He also recorded this stunning Green Brindled Crescent, which if you compare with the one trapped by Ken Willetts on the 4th October (below), you can see just how variable in colour this species can be. Geoff also trapped a Vestal, the first record for the Teme Valley this year, and again, another Migrant moth species.


                                                                              Green Brindled Crescent                                 Photo: Geoff Wookey

Geoff also reports over on recently ploughed fields near Ashbed Wood there's been a flock of around 200 to 250 mixed gulls. They are about 50:50 Herring and Lesser Black-backed but there are a few Great Black-backed thrown in as well. Also at Ashbed Woods, he also reports large numbers of Hornets being about. Several others have written in saying that they too are seeing a lot of Hornets about this year. He also saw 6 Mistle Thrush in the field next to the garden the other day

And, talking about Hornets, Margaret Bradley at Knighton on Teme took a photo of a Hornet feeding on an over ripe apple, and a Comma Butterfly basking in the remaining heat of the autumn sun.


                                                                         Hornet on rotting fruit                                  Photo: Margaret Bradley


                                                                                 Comma Butterfly                                  Photo: Margaret Bradley

7 October And another migrant moth for Ken Willetts. Last night he trapped and recorded the large Dark Sword Grass moth.


                                                                                   Dark Swordgrass Moth                       Photo: Ken Willetts

6 October At Boraston, Geoff Wookey took these images of a pair of Grey Wagtail making use of the water facilities in Geoff's garden. A nice garden record.


                                                                                       Greywagtail 1                                           Photo: Geoff Wookey


                                                                                        Greywagtail 2                                           Photo: Geoff Wookey

Well, the migrant birds may not yet be here, but the migrant moths have arrived. Ken Willetts sent in this photo of a Rush Veneer moth, a migrant from the near continent.


                                                                                   Rush Veneer Moth                                     Photo: Ken Willetts

5 October Ken Willetts sent in this nice shot of another typically autumnal species of moth.    The very appropriately named Red Green Carpet Moth


                                                                         Red Green Carpet Moth                                     Photo: Ken Willetts

At Clifton, Simone Arnold sent in these two images from her garden. A large Orb Spider and a Pied Wagtail which she says she hasn't seen for several months. So a nice sighting!


                                                                                  Garden Orb Spider                                     Photo: Simone Arnold


                                                                                         Pied Wagtail                                     Photo: Simone Arnold

4 October John Abbiss had a flock of circa 40 Linnets fly over and land on Oldwood Common today. Meantime, Sallyann Williams at their site in Great Witley, found these new fungi species on their patch recently.


                                       The underside structure of fungi can help with identification        Photo: Sallyann Williams


                                                          A grassland species of fungi         Photo: Sallyann Williams


                                                                     A Boletus species of fungi                              Photo: Sallyann Williams


                                                 The spongy under side of the Boletus group of fungi         Photo: Sallyann Williams

On the Highwood, Ken Willetts trapped and recorded these autumnal moth species over night


                                                                                    Center Barred Sallow                      Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                    Feathered Thorn                      Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                    688 Agonopterix Heracliana                      Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                    Green Brindled Crescent                      Photo : Ken Willetts

3 October Ken Willetts on the Highwood had his moth trap out last night taking advantage of the warm evening. He was rewarded with these three typical autumnal species.


                                                                                      Beaded Chestnut                      Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                 Lunar Underwing                      Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                 Common Wainscot                      Photo : Ken Willetts

1 October John Abbiss reported a small flock of Fieldfares flying over Oldwood Common today. First reported in the Teme Valley this year.

30 September Chris Peacock reported two sightings of a Kingfisher on the River Teme today. One at Little Hereford and one at the Temeside Inn bridge. It could be the same bird, but non the less, great records for a species that has had a hard time of late.

23 September Chris Mussell has some young Chiffchaff in the garden. Presumably this years off spring. (Confirmation ID by Steve Whitehouse - Birdguides)




                                                                               Chiffchaff                    Photos : Chris Mussell

21 September John Abbiss reports Swallows still present on Oldwood Common today. And Tony Thompson was out in the garden today at Hope Bagot when he noticed 4 tiny Grass Snakes lying on top of the compost heap. They were all about 6 or 7 inches long. Grass Snakes are very much attracted to Compost heaps as they generate heat.


                                                                   Tiny Grass Snakes on a compost heap                    Photo : Tony Thompson

16 September Brian Marsh sent in this photo of a large fungi conglomeration which appeared over night on his patch. Any warmth in the autumn air together with damp conditions will likely start fungal spores sprouting.


                                                                               Fungi appearing over night                    Photo : Brian Marsh

15 September At Upper Rochford over night, this distinctive Tortrix moth came to Danny Arnold's light trap. A late Summer - Autumn flying species, 1062 Acleris emargana is dependant on Sallows, Willows and Birch, on which the larvae feed. So its presence in the Teme Valley is not unexpected with so much of the food plants about.


                                                                                     1062 Acleris emargana                   Photo : Danny Arnold

14 September Two light traps from opposite sides of the valley trapped and recorded five moth species new in for the year that scream 'Autumn is here!' All five of these moth species are harbingers of this season taken by Geoff Wookey at Boraston and Danny Arnold at Rochford.


                                                                                           Frosted Orange                    Photo : Geoff Wookey


                                                                                           Black Rustic                          Photo : Geoff Wookey


                                                                                  Lunar Underwing                                      Photo : Geoff Wookey


                                                                                     Pink Barred Sallow                    Photo : Danny Arnold


                                                                                      Brown Spotted Pinion                    Photo : Danny Arnold

12 September Angie Hill at Martley sent in this photo of an insect from the Teme Valley Wildlife Group Moth trap she was using. This time, it was not a moth, but one of the very many caddis fly species we get in the UK. Like moths, they readily come to light and are often found in moth traps.


                                                                                         Caddis Fly                                                  Photo : Angie Hill

At Geoff Wookey's moth trap at Boraston, he recorded this micro moth species over night.  Eudonia angustea is often associated with coastal areas, but we do rather well for this species in the Teme Valley where it appears to be more associated with mosses.


                                                                           1342 Eudonia angustea                                      Photo : Geoff Wookey

10 September Carina Sylvester sent in this photo, taken by her Brother whilst working at Matthews Tree Nursery, of an Elephant Hawk Moth Caterpillar which he dug up. The larvae of this large moth burrow themselves below ground and then pupate next spring, emerging as fully grown adult moths.


                                                                        Elephant Hawk Moth Caterpillar                     Photo : Carina Sylvester

9 September Allen Hunt had a Hummingbird Hawk Moth in his garden today.

8 September It looks like there might be another hard winter on the cards this year. There is a lot of fruit on the trees and the Elderberry has masses of fruit and the Oaks are laden down with acorns. These photos taken by Danny Arnold at Rochford.


                                                                                             Elderberries                                          Photo : Danny Arnold


                                                                                     Plenty of acorns this year                            Photo : Danny Arnold

6 September Over on the Highwood, Ken Willetts sent in these two butterfly shots. There has been a late resurgence of the Speckled Wood Butterflies as they make the most of the late summer sun and Ken has also photographed one of the few migrant Painted Ladies seen this year in the area.


                                                                                 Painted Lady Butterfly                      Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                 Speckled Wood Butterfly                      Photo : Ken Willetts

And nothing to do with wildlife, just a nice shot of a rainbow as the rain was passing over Rochford today.


                                                                                               Rainbow                    Photo : Danny Arnold

5 September At Stanford Bridge, Chris Mussell reported circa 150 Swallows on the wires yesterday. Today, they have gone. Presumably it was a flock waiting to go south for the winter.

And at Danny Arnold's light trap at Upper Rochford, this tiny micro moth, the Skin Moth Monopis laevigella came in. This species is often found in and around birds nest where the female often lays eggs in the detritus of the nest.


                                                                          227 Skin Moth Monopis laevigella                   Photo : Danny Arnold

Also in for Danny Arnold, came this Mouse Moth, not the first for the Teme Valley, as Geoff Wookey trapped one last year, but a first for the SO66 10km square which encompasses much of the Teme Valley in Worcestershire. This moth, whilst widespread, is seldom reported or seen.


                                                                                                Mouse Moth                                    Photo : Danny Arnold

4 September Three weeks ago at Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold found a juvenile Male Buzzard flapping helplessly about in one of his Orchards. The bird was weak and had a severe discharge coming from its mouth. Danny took the bird to Roy Fowler, at the Worcester Barn Owl Trust, who with the help of a local vet, nursed the bird miraculously back to health. Today, Roy brought the bird back to the Orchard at Upper Rochford for release. As can be seen from the photos, the young bird was back to full health ready for release and not a bit impressed with being handled. Roy's expertise without doubt saved this young birds life which was suffering from a worm infection in the mouth called Capilliariasis which would have eventually killed the bird as it would not have been able to feed. A great result for this bird thanks to the professional and diligent efforts of Roy Fowler.




                                                                              Male Buzzard about to be released                    Photos : Danny Arnold

And at Frith Common, Vicki Stevens photographed this freshly prepared Cocoon on the window. The caterpillar inside is presumably going to over winter and emerge as a moth (or butterfly) in the spring.


                                                                                 Cocoon on window pane                                Photos  : Vicki Stevens

3 September At Burford, Tom Blumer sent in this great photo of a Male Sparrowhawk posing just outside the window at their house. The bird was far more intent on watching the 'dinner choices' on the bird feeder than it was in Tom's wife, Pauline, taking the photo. A great garden record Tom.


                                                                                 Male Sparrowhawk                                Photos  : Pauline Blumer

And another Sparrowhawk photo from further down the Valley at Newnham Bridge. This time it is a Female bird photographed by Sue Wilkinson. Sue said that the bird spent a couple of hours perched in the tree as if dazed, before flying off. Maybe it had flown into a glass window?


                                                                                 Female Sparrowhawk                                Photos  : Sue Wilkinson

Ken Willetts was out in his garden today and came across this Hummingbird Hawk Moth. This is a migrant moth which comes in from the near continent. It has the ability to hover and whilst keeping its body stationary, extend its elongated tongue to feed on nectar from suitable flowers. These shots Ken has captured are all the more remarkable as the wing beats at a speed far faster than the eye can see and clearly shows the insect taking nectar from the flowers.




                                                                                 Hummingbird Hawk Moth                      Photos : Ken Willetts

2 September Performing a rescue act with his Mom Caroline, Gerald Roseman at Lower Rochford managed to help untangle and free this Southern Hawker dragonfly from some serious cobwebs in one of their barns. Gerald said that after it had briefly posed for the photos, it flew away apparently none the worse for its ordeal.



                                                                            Southern Hawker Dragonfly                                Photos  : Gerald Roseman

1 September A couple of photos sent in by John Abbiss over at his home on Oldwood Common. A Wasp taking in nectar and a Silver Y moth basking in the sun.


                                                                            A Wasp taking Nectar                                Photo  : John Abbiss


                                                                                   Silver Y Moth                                Photo  : John Abbiss



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