2013 Archive



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

            

                                                                                        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

 

 

31 August Its official ! The beetle that Angie Hill found near her moth trap at Martley at the beginning of the month (see the entry for the 3rd August below), has been confirmed by Buglife and experts from Oxford University as the first record in the UK for the European rhinoceros beetle (Oryctes nasicornis) This is not to be confused with the Lesser Stag Beetle which is also sometimes called the Rhino Beetle. This European beetle is associated with dead wood on the continent but the UK is just outside its usual territory. Its not known if this huge beetle is a single individual or if Angie has come across the first UK colony. It is interesting to note however that the mud seen on the beetle is quite fresh indicating it had recently been in the ground. Another great record for the Teme Valley Wildlife and a great personal record for Angie!

             

                                                 European rhinoceros beetle (Oryctes nasicornis)                            Photo : Angie Hill

At Clifton, Simone Arnold came across this newly fledged bird in the garden which was drinking at her pond. Simone believes it to be a Chiffchaff

 

                                                                                    Fledgling Chiffchaff                       Photo : Simone Arnold

And two slightly uncommon moth species came to Ken Willetts light trap last night. This Garden Pebble moth which can sometimes be considered a pest in gardens and the rather plain Small Wainscot the larvae of which feed in the stems of sedges.

                               

                                                                                       Garden Pebble Moth                      Photo : Ken Willetts

                               

                                                                                       Small Wainscot                      Photo : Ken Willetts

From the Light Trap at Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold recorded this tiny micro moth 460 Ypsolopha parenthasella. The larvae feed on Oak and Hazel, hence this species is fairly common in low numbers across the Teme Valley area.

            

                                                                              460 Ypsolopha parenthasella                    Photo : Danny Arnold

30 August Jim MacDonald recorded this impressive moth at his Ludlow home last night. It is a female Treble Bar and extremely scarce in the Teme Valley. We could only find one other record of this species from Ludlow dating back to the late 1970's, so this makes this record a very important find. Jim also came across the Feathered Gothic moth, of which there are a good number about this year and also photographed the first instar of the Harlequin ladybird on some Rosebay Willowherb.

            

                                                                               Female Treble Bar                                Photo  : Jim MacDonald

            

                                                                                The Feathered Gothic Moth                      Photo  : Jim MacDonald

            

                                                               The Harlequin Ladybird 1st instar                     Photos  : Jim MacDonald

At Martley, Angie Hill photographed this Southern Hawker Dragonfly which got attracted to her friends orange coloured shirt.

            

                                                                                          Southern Hawker                                      Photo : Angie Hill

And a moth from Ken Willetts light trap on the Highwood. This is Small Square Spot, a species which is in past years, been very common in the area. This year however, numbers are significantly down.

                                 

                                                                                        Small Square Spot                     Photo : Ken Willetts

Ken also sent in some Wild Flower Shots from his patch using a black background which helps show off the true beauty of these plants.

                                

                                                                                        .............................                     Photo : Ken Willetts

                                       

                                                                                        Convolvulus                     Photo : Ken Willetts

            

                                                                                        Lords and Ladies                      Photo : Ken Willetts

            

                                                                                        Deadly Nightshade                      Photo : Ken Willetts

            

                                                                                        Scarlet Pimpernel                      Photo : Ken Willetts

At Great Witley, Sallyann Williams identified these two grassland species on her patch.

            

                                                                                   Dark Bush Cricket                       Photo : Sallyann Williams

            

                                                                                   Woodland Grasshopper                       Photo : Sallyann Williams

And at their home at Clifton, Simone Arnold says that the Sunflowers she has been growing for the birds to feed on in winter is also providing a brilliant nectaring ground for many insects including a myriad of bees.

            

                                                                                    Bees on Sunflower                       Photo : Simone Arnold

29 August On his daily walk around Ashbed Woods at Boraston, Geoff Wookey noted a big increase in the number of Speckled Wood Butterflies about this morning. He also came across four Common Blues. Geoff also posted this video to YouTube. Click the Hedgehog photo below to start the video. Geoff took this with a camera trap in the garden last night.

            

                                        Hedgehog in the garden video (click the photo to run video)         Photo : Geoff Wookey

From one of his light traps at Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold trapped and recorded this tiny micro moth 481 Epermenia falciformis. The adult moths are on the wing in two generations, from June to July and again in August and September.
The larvae feed on wild angelica (Angelica sylvestris) or ground-elder (Aegopodium podagraria), feeding in spun leaves or mining the stems. This is only the 15th recorded site in Worcs where this species has been found.

                                     

                                                                              481 Epermenia falciformis                    Photo : Danny Arnold

28 August The Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner Moth is a relatively new species to the UK. It has only become apparent in the last 30 or so years, coming presumably, from the continent on imported trees. It is currently spreading northwards in the UK at some rate and is already well established in the Teme Valley. The mines made on the leaf are very distinctive as can be seen below from the photo taken by Danny Arnold of the leaves on the trees at Burford Church. Ken Willetts also trapped the moth last night, which is literally just starting to emerge from pupation.

            

                                                                              Horse Chestnut Leaf being Mined                    Photo : Danny Arnold

            

                                                                              Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner Moth                     Photo : Ken Willetts

Jim MacDonald sent in this photo of a Poplar Hawk moth he found in the porch entrance to his Guest House in Ludlow.

            

                                                                                     Poplar Hawk Moth                                 Photo : Jim MacDonald

At Boraston, the garden pool Geoff Wookey put in two years ago is already full of breeding newts, as testified to by these new offspring. These are Common or Smooth Newts.

            

                                                                              Common or Smooth Newts                           Photo : Geoff Wookey

27 August The Teme Valley Wildlife Group put up a display board at the Burford Church open Weekend held over these last three days. The one set of boards had a wildlife quiz which some of you entered. Nobody got all the questions right, but we ended up with two joint winners. Well done Carol Rust and Claire Ritchie for both getting 7 out of 10 right. This was closely followed by The Yates family who managed 6 out of 10. Neither Carol nor Claire managed to get the correct number of moths right, hiding on the tree in the tie break question. And we couldn't give it to either as an outright winner, for being the 'nearest', as they had both guessed the same number of 11. There were in fact 27 moths on the tree.

Here are the full answers:  Well done to everyone that entered!!

     

               Common Blue Damselfly (d)                                Little Egret (b)                                        Painted Lady (d)

     

                             Moorhen (a)                                            Nuthatch (c)                                              Rudd (e)

     

                          Stonechat (e)                                     Feathered Thorn (c)                                       Kestrel (d)

                                     

                                                        Pale Tussock (a)                                              27 moths

At Danny Arnold's light trap at Upper Rochford last night, this Gold Spot moth came in. Not especially common in the Teme Valley, there are a few records every year, the larvae are quite gregarious feeding on a variety of plants usually in a damp habitat.

            

                                                                                                Gold Spot                                       Photo : Danny Arnold

26 August Over at Boraston, Geoff Wookey had some important moth records overnight. Did they all come down off the Clee Hill? They included the Chevron Moth. This is a 'first' for the Teme Valley and is almost certainly a first for Geoff's 10km square which is predominantly in Shropshire. This moth is associated usually with either woodland, of upland heath and moorland. It could have easily come down to Geoff's light trap off the Clee Hills.

            

                                                                                                Chevron                                              Photo : Geoff Wookey

The Lychnis is another upland species and whilst it has been recorded before in the Teme Valley is also another likely candidate to have come in off the Clee.

            

                                                                                                Lychnis                                              Photo : Geoff Wookey

The Bulrush Wainscot is a moth that might be slightly out of place. The larvae as the name implies is associated with reedmace. Geoff doesn't have this in his garden pond, but this species is large and quite capable of traveling significant distances on warm evenings.

            

                                                                                   Bulrush Wainscot                                     Photo : Geoff Wookey

Another one off the Clee perhaps? This Pale Eggar is another moth associated with heath and moorland. The Pale Eggar larvae fed on Heathers and Bilberries, which of course are on the Clee.

            

                                                                                                Pale Eggar                                         Photo : Geoff Wookey

The Oak Hook Tip is another later autumn species. As the name implies, it is associated with the Oak Tree.

            

                                                                                                Oak Hook-tip                                       Photo : Geoff Wookey

Ken Willetts  had another 'first record' for his garden, this stunning little moth called Purple Bar. Although the bar on this particular moth is black in appearance, the more typical form is a 'purple' bar.

            

                                                                                                Purple Bar Moth                                      Photo : Ken Willetts

And at Martley, Angie Hill sent in these photos. A crab spider, not very convincingly camouflaged! And a green Bush Cricket.

            

                                                                                                Crab Spider                                      Photo : Angie Hill

            

                                                                                                  Cricket                                          Photo : Angie Hill

Sallyann Williams from their patch at Great Witley sent in these dragon fly and butterfly pictures from around their pools. A huge update from their patch of species noted over the last month or so.

            

                                                                          Southern Hawker Dragonfly                       Photo : Sallyann Williams

            

                                                                                    Common Blue                                 Photo : Sallyann Williams

            

                                                                                Small Tortoiseshell                           Photo : Sallyann Williams

            

                                                                                          Brown Hawker                                Photo : Sallyann Williams

            

                                                                                          Ruddy Darter                           Photo : Sallyann Williams

            

                                                                                                  Gatekeeper                            Photo : Sallyann Williams

             

                                                                                    Small Heath                                          Photo : Sallyann Williams

            

                                                                                                    Peacock                                          Photo : Sallyann Williams

            

                                                                                       Small Red Damselfly                                Photo : Sallyann Williams

            

                                                                                         Small Copper                              Photo : Sallyann Williams

            

                                                                               Large White Butterfly                                 Photo : Sallyann Williams

            

                                                                                                  Gatekeeper                              Photo : Sallyann Williams

            

                                                                                                  Ringlet                                          Photo : Sallyann Williams

            

                                                                                      Meadow Brown                           Photo : Sallyann Williams

            

                                                                          Common Blue Damselfly in Cop                        Photo : Sallyann Williams

And finally for today, Roger & Simone sent in this picture of a Grey Squirrel from their garden at Clifton.

            

                                                                                        Grey Squirrel                                 Photo : Simone Arnold

25 August A different insect from Ken Willetts garden. This time a Cricket on the flowers in the garden.

            

                                                                                                Cricket                                      Photo : Ken Willetts

24 August Another moth from Danny Arnold's moth trap at Upper Rochford today is proof that autumn is on its way. This moth, the Center barred Sallow, is a sure sign that Autumn is on its way.

            

                                                                                 Center barred Sallow                             Photo : Danny Arnold

23 August This photograph was taken yesterday and shows Swallows in a nest built on the deck at Danny Arnold's home at Upper Rochford. They were still there at 8am this morning, but by 10am, both birds had fledged.

            

                                                                                 Swallows fledged today                             Photo : Danny Arnold

22 August One of most moth recorders favourite moths, 462 Ypsolopha sequella with its distinctive and tell tale rabbit motive on its back. Ken Willetts took this record at his light trap last night.

                                 

                                                                                462 Ypsolopha sequella                               Photo : Ken Willetts

And from Danny Arnold's light trap at Upper Rochford, came this beautifully camouflaged micro moth and another of the same family as the one above. 455 Ypsolopha scabrella. The larvae feed on Apple and Hawthorn. Hence why it is so common in the Teme Valley.

            

                                                                                   455 Ypsolopha scabrella                             Photo : Danny Arnold

21 August Geoff Wookey was in Orleton at about 6.30 this morning on his way to Hanley Dingle to do a bird survey when he came across a rolling road block consisting of 22 Red-legged Partridge! They moved slowly ahead of the car for about 20 yards then decided to do a runner into the hedgerow. Geoff says he hasn't seen that many in his whole life let alone at one time.

No camera in the car as usual!!

At Wolferlow, Stuart Smith reports great numbers of butterflies during the last month and has recorded Small and Large White, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Red Admiral, Comma, Small Copper, Meadow Brown, Common Blue, Gatekeeper, Ringlet, Brimstone and Green-veined White - 13 in total. Added to Orange tip and Speckled Wood earlier in the year he says its turned into a good year on his patch. No Painted Ladies seen this year though, yet.

             

                                                                               Small Tortoiseshell                                       Photo : Stuart Smith

20 August Simone Arnold sent this picture of a Southern Hawker Dragonfly apparently laying eggs in a plant pot. The seven spot ladybird, Simone says is the first she has seen in ages at her garden in Clifton on Teme.

             

                                                                               Southern Hawker Dragonfly                                 Photo : Simone Arnold

             

                                                                               Seven Spot Ladybird                                 Photo : Simone Arnold

19 August Ken Willetts emailed a photo in of this 1439 Trachycera advenella moth. Quite common at this time of year. The larvae feed on Hawthorn which is probably why it is so common locally. They will also feed on Rowan..

            

                                                                                1439 Trachycera advenella                              Photo : Ken Willetts

18 August David Sothers emailed a note in, to say that his Nightjar is still around and that he has been seeing it frequently at dusk by the house. Great garden record David!

On the Highwood, Ken Willetts attracted this 1309 Agriphila Geniculea to his light trap. Whilst the moth is sparingly common across most of Worcestershire, it is only the third record for the Teme Valley of this species.

            

                                                                                1309 Agriphila Geniculea                              Photo : Ken Willetts

17 August Pete & Vicki Stevens sent in this series of pictures from their patch at Frith Common. The first picture shows Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly caterpillars stripping a nettle plant of leaves. (Their favoured food source).

            

                                                                                Small Tortoiseshell caterpillars                      Photo : Pete & Vicki Stevens

This Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar was found in the church yard at Lindridge.

            

                                                                      Elephant hawk Moth Caterpillar                      Photo : Pete & Vicki Stevens

Small Copper butterfly partaking in nectar.

            

                                                                                Small Copper Butterfly                      Photo : Pete & Vicki Stevens

And this Wasps nest was dug up over night on their driveway. Presumably by a Badger, the wasps spent the morning repairing the nest.

            

                                                                                Wasps nest underground                      Photo : Pete & Vicki Stevens

16 August Danny Arnold trapped this tiny and colourful Caloptilia moth species last night. It is either Caloptilia robustella or Caloptilia alchimiella. They cannot be reliably separated visually. In either case, it is a rare turn up for the Teme Valley. There has only been one positive ID for robustella in the past (2012) and alchimiella has never been recorded.

             

                                                                Caloptilia robustella or Caloptilia alchimiella                 Photo : Danny Arnold

15 August Ken Willetts trapped a 1001 Lozotaeniodes formosanus moth too last night. Clearly there are a few of these moths about associated with Scotts Pine. Ken also trapped this Square Spot Rustic, a typical late summer moth found in this area.

            

                                                                                1001 Lozotaeniodes formosanus                      Photo : Ken Willetts

                   

                                                                                         Square Spot Rustic                                    Photo : Ken Willetts

 

In his garden at Oldwood Common, John Abbiss photographed his first Painted Lady Butterfly of the year.

            

                                                                               Painted Lady Butterfly                                Photo  : John Abbiss

At their home in Clifton, Simone & Roger Arnold photographed this Willow Beauty Moth that was attracted to a lighted window over night.

            

                                                                               Willow Beauty Moth                                 Photo : Simone Arnold

14 August Dani Harris based near Frith Common borrowed one of the Groups moth traps over night and recorded the catch this morning with Danny Arnold. Dani managed to record an impressive 72 species of moth from her rural patch including this colourful micro moth 1001 Lozotaeniodes formosanus. This species is closely associated with Scotts Pine and it was noticed that there was one such tree some 30 meters away from the light trap. Not often recorded in the Teme Valley, so a great record to go with the 71 other species recorded from this 'new patch'.

            

                                                                          1001 Lozotaeniodes formosanus                  Photo : Danny Arnold

Meantime at Danny Arnold's own trap at Upper Rochford, this Bordered Beauty came to light. This is quite a scarce species in the Teme Valley and only the 4th record to show up at Danny's Upper Rochford site.

             

                                                                                        Bordered Beauty                             Photo : Danny Arnold

And at Boraston, Rachel Packard heard a Nightjar over the way from her last night. This is the second record of this bird being heard / seen this year. David Sothers also had one at his house in Upper Rochford a few days ago. Rachel also had a Woodcock fly over and said there were several Tawny Owls calling.

At Ludlow, Jim MacDonald came across this moth, The Gothic, in his house. There are two very similar species The Gothic and the Feathered Gothic.

             

                                                                                The Gothic Moth                                 Photos  : Jim MacDonald

12 August John Abbiss at Oldwood Common sent in these photos from his patch.

            

                                                                                   Buff Tip Moth caterpillars                      Photo  : John Abbiss

                                        

                                                                                   Tree Bee on Lavender               Photo  : John Abbiss

11 August Joyce Horsfall sent in this photo of the skeleton of a Fox. Bizarrely, it was in the open and almost intact? She said there were no signs of it being scavenged, yet as can be seen, it had been completely stripped.

            

                                                                                    Intact Fox skeleton                              Photo : Joyce Horsfall

Today was the monthly walk for the Group. This photo was taken by Austin Palmer of some of the Group in Hanley Dingle, a local Worcestershire Wildlife reserve.

                                  

                                                                                    Hanley Dingle                          Photo : Austin Palmer

10 August This bout of warm weather is really pulling out some nice records for moth species in the Teme Valley. Danny Arnold trapped this black and white micro moth called Nemapogon clematella. This has a very interesting life cycle as the larvae feed on the fungus found on decaying Hazel. Ken Willetts also got in the action with the Small Square Spot moth. In previous years this has been very common. This year however, there have been very few about.

            

                                                                                    220 Nemapogon clematella                          Photo : Danny Arnold

                        

                                                                                         Small Square Spot                                    Photo : Ken Willetts

9 August Ken Willetts light trap is again in action. This time recording 1063 Celypha striana. It is a predominantly Southern species. The larvae feed on Dandelion, by boring into the root system of the plant.

            

                                                                                         1063 Celypha striana                                    Photo : Ken Willetts

8 August Another fantastic Worcestershire record, let alone Teme Valley record, for Ken Willetts on the Highwood. Ken trapped this pyralid moth 1408 P.vitrealis. It is a migrant and this is the second only ever record for Worcestershire. The first record was over in the east of the County in 2011.

            

                                                                                         1408 P.vitrealis                                    Photo : Ken Willetts

 

Ken also trapped this Poplar Kitten Moth. There are three 'Kitten' moths in the UK, all very similar, but just about identifiable with care.

            

                                                                                        Poplar Kitten Moth                                    Photo : Ken Willetts

And in Simone Arnold's garden at Clifton, she managed to snap this Small Copper Butterfly nectaring on the flowers.

                                                   

                                                                               Small Copper Butterfly            Photo : Simone Arnold

7 August Moths continue to stream in with this glorious weather. Jim MacDonald at Ludlow is self admittedly, getting very interested in the moth species in his garden. Here he sent in two photos of two seen last night. Large Emerald and the much smaller Single Dotted Wave.

            

                                                                                       Single Dotted Wave                             Photo  : Jim MacDonald

            

                                                                               Large Emerald Moth                             Photo  : Jim MacDonald

At their patch in Great Witley, Sallyann Williams found this Vapourer Moth caterpillar climbing over some leaves.

            

                                                                             Vapourer Moth caterpillar                     Photo  : Sallyann Williams

And at Leominster, David had this stunning Magpie moth fly into the house today. This moth is not just a nocturnal moth, it can be found flying in the daytime on warm days.

            

                                                                                          Magpie Moth                     Photo  : David Norsworthy

6 August At Oldwood Common, John Abbiss sent these photos from his garden. The Small Copper Butterfly seems to have emerged this week as several people are now reporting seeing it. John says that the Lavender in the garden is covered with Bees, which is good news and a good reason to make sure you have some planted in the garden. John's final picture shows that Autumn is not far away, with Sloes forming on the Blackthorn. e of

            

                                                                               Small Copper Butterfly                             Photo  : John Abbiss

            

                                                                                   Bees on Lavender                      Photo  : John Abbiss

            

                                                                             Sloes growing on Blackthorn                      Photo  : John Abbiss

At Upper Rochford, David Sothers reports seeing a Nightjar flying around his house at dusk. David says it has been present for the past few evenings. David also alerted us to a conversion ring he bought for an old lens for his film camera. With the conversion ring he has been able to use an old non digital lens on his Canon DSLR camera and by turning it around with a conversion ring, make it into a macro lens. Like him, we think the resulting images are brilliant!

                                  Photo

                                                                                         Lacewing                         Photo : David Sothers

                                  Photo

                                                                      Close up Large White Butterfly                  Photo : David Sothers

4 August A couple of nice photos from Ken Willetts moth trap last night. The first is Scorched Carpet. Fairly apparent as to why it got this name. The larvae feed on Spindle. The second moth is one of the Ear Moths. It is not possible to distinguish between the Ear moth and the Large Ear moth visually. So this gets recorded as Ear Moth aggregate.

            

                                                                                         Scorched Carpet                                    Photo : Ken Willetts

                  

                                                                                       Ear Moth aggregate                                    Photo : Ken Willetts

Meantime at Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman was out in her garden taking some photos of the wildlife on her patch.

            

                                                                                    Small Tortoiseshell                           Photos  : Caroline Roseman

            

                                                                                           Peacock                           Photos  : Caroline Roseman

            

                                                                                White tailed Bumblebee                           Photos  : Caroline Roseman

            

                                                                                Cinnabar Moth caterpillar                      Photos  : Caroline Roseman

            

                                                                        Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar                     Photos  : Caroline Roseman

It seems that there are Red Underwing moths popping up everywhere! This time, Jim MacDonald at Ludlow had one in the house. The resting position shows some remarkable wing markings, but belies the true beauty of the underwings, underneath.

 

                                                                                  Red Underwing Moth                                 Photos  : Jim MacDonald

And at Stockton on Teme, Bill Spice sent some more pictures of interesting moth trap captures he's had over the last week or two, including another 'first' for the Teme Valley, the Small Scalloped Moth. The Coronet is also very scarce locally and constitutes another important Teme Valley record.

            

                                                                                      Small Scalloped Moth                                     Photo : Bill Spice

            

                                                                                           The Coronet                                     Photo : Bill Spice

3 August Over at Martley, Angie Hill ran a moth light trap last night. Close by the trap, she came across this beetle. It is very interesting. We were not sure of its ID, so Angie sent the photos away to Buglife. They subsequently came back to her very excited saying they thought it was a Rhinoceros Beetle (female). This is a very rare find in the UK if it is correct, so the photos are now going from Buglife to a couple of beetle specialists. We will keep you informed.

            

                                                                                     Rhinoceros Beetle                                     Photo : Angie Hill

The second beetle was found in the light trap and is fairly common in the Teme Valley. Its a Burying beetle. Note the mites found on it. There must be some sort of symbiotic association going on here as these mites are always found on these beetles.

                                  

                                                                                     Burying Beetle                                     Photo : Angie Hill

The last picture sent in by Angie was this stunning Canary Shouldered Thorn moth, from the moth trap. This species is just starting to show up now.

            

                                                                                  Canary Shouldered Thorn                        Photo : Angie Hill

Over at Stockton on Teme, Bill Spice sent in a few photos from his garden taken over the last month. The Magpie Moth is a stunning insect that is quite adaptable. In our area the larvae feed on currants and Gooseberry bushes, but in the Orkney's and northern Scotland, these food plants are not readily available, so the larvae have adapted to feed on Heather.

            

                                                                                           The Magpie Moth                                     Photo : Bill Spice

The Black Arches is a stunning moth whose larvae feed primarily on Oak. THey will however tolerate some conifers too. This is a male, identifiable, through the large feathered antennae. The female antennae are not at all feathered.

            

                                                                                           Black Arches                                     Photo : Bill Spice

This Great Crested Newt was disturbed from under a plant pot on Bill's decking. He crawled away safely into the adjoining undergrowth.

            

                                                                                           Great Crested Newt                                     Photo : Bill Spice

A species in decline. Not many of these Garden Tiger Moths are usually reported in the Teme Valley in any one year, and infarct, this is the first one we have heard about this year.

            

                                                                                           Garden Tiger Moth                                     Photo : Bill Spice

This moth is a 'first' for the Teme valley. Its a Sycamore moth. Its a South Eastern species in the UK generally and this must be right on the edge of its territory. The larvae as the name suggests feeds on Sycamore, of which there is not a lot about in the Teme Valley area, but it also feeds on Horse Chestnut, of which there is generally much more.

            

                                                                                           The Sycamore Moth                                     Photo : Bill Spice

Another very scarce moth for this area and very easily over looked is the Fern Moth. The reason for its scarcity locally is that the food plant is Travelers Joy (Clematis vitalba) which prefers a calcareous soil, of which, there is very little locally save for the few tufa outcrops along the south ridge of the Teme Valley.

            

                                                                                            The Fern Moth                                     Photo : Bill Spice

2 August Ken Willetts had this Straw Underwing moth at his light trap last night. Whilst not an uncommon moth in the UK, there are not too many records for the Teme Valley.

            

                                                                                            Straw Underwing Moth                             Photo : Ken Willetts

1 August Danny Arnold trapped this unusual moth last night at Upper Rochford. It is 470 Orthotelia sparganella, a wet land habitat moth which does not often come to light. As a result, this is only the 8th record for Worcs in over 120 years! The larvae feed on Bur-reed.

            

                                                                                    470 Orthotelia sparganella                         Photo : Danny Arnold

Caroline Roseman at Lower Rochford sent in this photo of Small Tortoiseshell caterpillars stripping a nettle. Nettles are the food plant of choice for many caterpillars and moths. These caterpillars have a series of faint yellow lines down their length, differentiating them from Peacock caterpillars which are entirely black in colour.

            

                                                                              Small Tortoiseshell caterpillars            Photo  : Caroline Roseman

Tim Studer found this Red Underwing moth on his office window at Martley today. This is a large moth, and not that often seen. It flies extremely quickly in straight lines, so is hardly ever noticed, other than for a streak of red as it flashes its underwings as it streaks past.

            

                                                                              Red Underwing Moth                                       Photo  : Tim Studer

31 July A couple of interesting moth species from Danny Arnold's light trap at Upper Rochford last night. Marbled Beauty is a moth that rarely shows up in numbers in the Teme Valley. The larvae feed on lichens and the adult is extremely well camoflauged when at rest on a lichen covered wall. The Dot Moth like wise, is another scarce visitor to the Teme Valley, being a moth of more sub-urban and waste ground habitat.

            

                                                                                  Marbled Beauty                                       Photo  : Danny Arnold

            

                                                                                              Dot Moth                                       Photo  : Danny Arnold

30 July Stuart Smith on his walk around Wolferlow today had in excess of a dozen Spotted Flycatchers. He also had, three Whitethroats, three Willow Warblers, a Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk. Lots of butterflies also – a few Comma, Peacock & Red Admiral.

At Rochford, Danny Arnold light trapped this stunning Orange Swift Moth. These moths are thought to be some of the most primitive types of moth. Whilst most Lepidoptera lay their eggs on a specific food plant, the females of the Swift group of moths lay their eggs whilst in flight. The eggs fall to the group and if not eaten, then have a limited amount of time to turn into caterpillar larvae and find an appropriate food plant. That said, they are quite gragarious and will feed on various plants.

             

                                                                              Orange Swift Moth                                       Photo  : Danny Arnold

28 July Ken Willetts garden on the Highwood continues to attract all sorts of interesting and note worthy creatures. Today Ken photographed this Silver Washed Fritillary Butterfly on his buddleia. The grasshopper was a large one about 25 - 28mm in length. It has been confirmed by Harry Green & Gary Farmer (Thanks guys!) that it is a dark Field Grasshopper. And the strange looking beetle is one of the Weevil species. These can at times, be quite attracted to the light trap meant for Moths.

             

                                                                                            Silver Washed Fritillary                             Photo : Ken Willetts

             

                                                                   Field Grasshopper Chorthippus brunneus               Photo : Ken Willetts

             

                                                                                            Weevil Beetle                                    Photo : Ken Willetts

These two grassland species of moth trapped by Ken recently are distinctive and certainly the first one is a little unusual. We do not see this species regularly in the Teme Valley.

            

                                                                                 1313 Catoptria Pinella                                    Photo : Ken Willetts

            

                                                                           1316 Catoptria Falsella                                         Photo : Ken Willetts

 

 

 

                                          Tiger Spider                                                                      Silver Y Moth           Photos :  John Abbiss

            

                                                                                      Peacock Butterfly                                      Photo : John Abbiss

             

                                                                               Meadow Brown Butterfly                      Photo  : John Abbiss

             

                                                                          Bees on Lavender                      Photo  : John Abbiss

             

                                                                                              Crows                                            Photo  : John Abbiss

In Chris & Jenny Rogers garden at Stoke Bliss, they took these two photos. The Emerald Damselfly is a good record for the area.

 

                                  

                                                                                  The Comma Butterfly             Photo  : Chris Rogers

            

                                                                          The Emerald Damselfly                      Photo  : Jenny Rogers

27 July A big update from the last few nights from Ken Willetts light trap on the Highwood. Of these, the Meal Moth is about the rarest, there is only one other record from 2008 for this species in the Teme Valley. Marbled Beauty is also fairly uncommon, with very few local records. The larvae of this moth feed on lichens. Blomers Rivulet is also a good record. They have been found in Hunthouse and Hanley Dingle by Danny Arnold in the past, but they have not been found outside of these areas, owing probably, to the requirement of the Elm tree for the larvae. The decline of the Elm in the 1960's , resulted in a crash of this species nationwide.

            

                                                                                        Marbled Beauty                                    Photo  : Ken Willetts

            

                                                                            1417 Meal Moth Pyralis farinalis                      Photo  : Ken Willetts

            

                                                                                       938 Agapeta zoegana                             Photo  : Ken Willetts

            

                                                                                        Antler Moth                                    Photo  : Ken Willetts

            

                                                                                          The Drinker                                    Photo  : Ken Willetts

            

                                                                                        White Satin                                    Photo  : Ken Willetts

            

                                                                                             Gold Spot                                    Photo  : Ken Willetts

                

                                                                                        1344 Eudonia mercurella                         Photo  : Ken Willetts

                      

                                                                                        1358 Evergestis pallidata                    Photo  : Ken Willetts

            

                                                                                        Blomer's Rivulet                                    Photo  : Ken Willetts

And over at Ludlow, Jim MacDonald sent in this picture of an Elephant Hawk Moth he found in the garden. Always nice to see this species with its green and pink markings.

            

                                                                                  Elephant Hawk Moth              Photo  : Jim MacDonald

26 July Nice moths are showing up all over the place during this very warm weather. These three species come from Simone & Roger Arnold's garden at Clifton on Teme. The Left hand moth, the Small Dusty Wave is usually quite common in the Teme Valley most years, but this year, it has been very rare, so this is a nice record. The moth in the middle is called Yellow Shell. A stunning little moth with concentric shell like markings. The moth on the right, is the Dark Arches, that lots of people are seeing this year.

        

                                                                  Three Moth species from Simone's garden              Photo  : Simone Arnold

25 July One Oldwood Common, John Abbiss sent in these four shots of visitors to his garden.

            

                                                                          The Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly                      Photo  : John Abbiss

            

                                                                                      Female Ghost Moth                                   Photo  : John Abbiss

            

                                                                                  Vapourer Moth caterpillar                                Photo  : John Abbiss

            

                                                                                      The Gatekeeper                                         Photo  : John Abbiss

Whilst walking in Worcester Town center today, Simone & Roger Arnold came across this huge insect, dead on the pavement. It is shown along side a £1 coin for comparison purposes. Whilst the long appendage at the tail end looks vicious, this Giant Wood Wasp is actually quite harmless as this is an ovipositor for laying eggs. The female drills this ovipositor into the bark of decaying trees and the resulting caterpillars are formed under the bark, before pupating and emerging as these large insects.

            

                                                                                         Giant Wood wasp                         Photo  : Simone Arnold

At Stoke Bliss, Chris & Jenny Rogers had this Bat flying around the bedroom. It had come in during the night and posed briefly for this picture before taking off again through an open window.

            

                                                                                                Bat                                                 Photo  : Chris Rogers

This quite spectacular and large caterpillar also found by Chris & Jenny in their garden, is the caterpillar of the Mullein Moth. An interesting record as whilst the caterpillars are not that uncommon, the adult moth is rarely seen as it does not tend to be attracted to light and therefore not often recorded by light trapping.

                                

                                                                                Mullein Moth Caterpillar           Photo  : Jenny Rogers

And also at Stoke Bliss, Maggie Kingston found this moth in the Kitchen. It is perhaps aptly called The Snout, owing no doubt to the large protruding proboscis at the front end of the head.

                          

                                                                                      The Snout                                    Photo  : Maggie Kingston

23 July At Frith Common, Pete & Vicki Stevens found this large moth on the bedroom floor. Dark Arches is quite a common moth at this time of year in the Teme Valley, although this is quite a dark version of the species. The larvae feed on grass stems..

            

                                                                                      Dark Arches                                    Photo  : Pete & Vicki Stevens

19 July From the light trap Ken Willetts runs on the Highwood, two of several pictures Ken sent in from last night which was very warm and saw many moth species flying.

            

                                                                                        Leopard Moth                                    Photo  : Ken Willetts

            

                                                                                  Purple Clay Moth                                    Photo  : Ken Willetts

18 July And yet another story with a great ending. Bob Edwards has been siting Raptor nest boxes on his patch on the Clee for several years. We reported in 2011 the success he had with five Kestrel youngsters fledgling. Well as an update, Bob said that 2012 being so wet and cold was a disaster and there were no fledgling chicks produced in this year.

However, this year in 2013, there has been another major success. Bob says " This year it seems we are back on track, with four Kestrels being raised from one of my other field boxes.....I attach several pics for your info, one of which is a baby that fell from the nest resulting from the frantic scramble at the nest each time prey arrived via a parent......It looks as though there is about a week difference from the first hatchling to the last and you will see this from the photo comparison.....This wayward sky-diver was picked up from the grass and fed on fresh lambs liver until bursting...so full was he that when posing for photos on the chair not a murmur was heard....he was placed back with his pals a short while after this and you can see he looks totally legless with eyes closed and not a care in the world...today, the two eldest fledged and are checking out their new surroundings...the remaining two I would think will be gone by Friday.... "

                

            

            

            

             

            

                                                                                  Kestrel nesting success                           Photos  : Bob Edwards

At Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman came across this colourful caterpillar and asked, "What is it?". This is the caterpillar of the Va pourer Moth, a moth not often attracted to light traps, making this an important local record for this species.

            

                                                                                Va pourer Moth larvae                           Photos  : Caroline Roseman

16 July A story with two happy endings!. Rachel Packard emailed in saying  "We were cutting down some brush and bushes from behind our place the other day and came across a blackbirds nest in one, holding 2 Blackbird chicks. So we moved the nest and desperately hoped that the mum would find it and keep feeding them, and she did.

Then a couple of days later, we came across a nest with 3 Song Thrushes in, but the nest was damaged and the chicks were too young to just be on the floor so we put them in the blackbirds nest and kept our fingers crossed. And it worked! The Blackbird mum is feeding them all!

I've taken a photo to prove it. I'd always been told that this would not work, but it clearly does .Blackbirds make excellent parents!"

 

            

                                   Three Song Thrush and two Blackbird youngsters in a Blackbirds nest       Photo  : Rachel Packard

At their land at Great Witley, Dave & Sallyann took these dragonfly photos. Mike Averill confirmed the ID. Thanks to him for this info.

            

                                                                             Common Darter Dragonfly                Photo  : Sallyann Williams

            

                                                                             Southern Hawker Dragonfly                    Photo  : Sallyann Williams

            

                                                                             Southern Hawker Dragonfly case                Photo  : Sallyann Williams

15 July This warm weather has brought out a myriad of moth species. Geoff Wookey had three new garden record species at his light trap last night, including Small Angle Shades, the Short Cloaked Moth and this stunning Coronet, a new record for the Teme Valley.

            

                                                                                         Coronet Moth                                    Photo  : Geoff Wookey

Meanwhile over at Clifton on Teme, Roger & Simone Arnold came across this stunning Buff Arches moth. When at rest, it looks just like a piece of flint.

                            

                                                                                         Buff Arches Moth                 Photo  : Simone Arnold

12 July At Stockton on Teme, Bill Spice emailed to say he had recorded three specimens of the Ruddy Carpet moth. This species is quite scarce in Worcs; there are only 37 records, with only 7 of those being post the year 2000. Its also significant that it has never been recorded in the Teme Valley before either. So three records are very important.

            

                                                                                         Ruddy Carpet Moth                                    Photo  : Bill Spice

We have just received some pictures back from Bayton School where members of the Group ran a 'bug hunt' with the young students earlier in the month. As can be seen, the children were well up for getting their hands dirty, looking under logs and in bushes for all sorts of insects, bugs and beetles.

 

            

            

                                                                                  'Bug Hunt' at Bayton School                   Photos  : Wendy Southall

And on the Highwood, Ken Willetts had this tiny migrant moth come to his light trap. It takes no guessing why the vernacular name for this species, is the 'Diamond Back' moth.

                     

                                                                                  Diamond Back Moth                                    Photo  : Ken Willetts

11 July Over at Martley, Angie Hill emailed yesterday to say that she hoped she would attract a Poplar Hawk moth to her newly loaned moth trap. Then last night, on her third outing with the trap in her back garden, she recorded three this morning, along with a Large Emerald, yet another Blotched Emerald, two Elephant Hawkmoths, a Small Elephant Hawkmoth and five Swallowtail moths amongst a host of others.

And on the Highwood, Ken Willetts light trap was buzzing, where he recorded these three species along with many many more!

            

                                                                                  Blue Bordered Carpet                                    Photo  : Ken Willetts

            

                                                                                  Blotched Emerald                                    Photo  : Ken Willetts

            

                                                                                  342 Phyllonorycter coryli                       Photo  : Ken Willetts

8 July All this warm weather is bringing a lot of moth species out now. This tiny moth, Caloptilia stigmatella has a wingspan of just 13mm. The larvae of this moth feed on Willow and Poplar and it is one of a group of very similar moths. The distinctive 'Nike' shaped mark on its wing however, makes this one fairly easy to identify. The one below is a relatively rare micro moth in Worcs. the larvae of this moth, Olindia schumacherana feeds on Lesser Celandine. Both came to the light trap of Danny Arnold at Upper Rochford last night.

            

                                                                                      288 Caloptilia stigmatella                         Photo  : Danny Arnold

            

                                                                              1013 Olindia schumacherana                      Photo  : Danny Arnold

7 July A new micro moth record for Danny Arnold and the SO66 10km tetrad and indeed the Teme Valley. This tiny micro moth, Hedya salicella, only a few millimeters long, came to light last night at Upper Rochford. The larvae feed on Sallows and Poplar.

            

                                                                                      1086 Hedya salicella                                 Photo  : Danny Arnold

6 July Sallyann Williams sent in these two pictures of a Fox taken with a camera trap on their land. It just goes to show that all sorts of animals that we don't see too often are about and these camera traps record it all.

            

            

                                                                         Fox caught on a camera trap picture                 Photos : Sallyann Williams

5 July Angie Hill borrowed one of the two Teme Valley Wildlife Group moth traps. Angie is new to moth trapping, and on her second evening (last night) she trapped and recorded an impressive 27 species, including this Blotched Emerald which was an important record as it was a first record for the 10km tetrad square that Angie lives in and a first for this part of the Teme Valley. It is also significant as it is rarely found outside of its usual woodland habitat.

            

                                                                                     Blotched Emerald                                     Photo : Angie Hill

And at the light traps at Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold recorded these non to frequently seen species. The Clouded Magpie is associated with Elm. As a result, in the last forty or so years, this moth's numbers have declined significantly due to loss of food plant and habitat. There are very few records of this in the Valley, with the largest population being up at Hunthouse Wood, where the 'local' stronghold population is located.

             

                                                                                      Clouded Magpie                                 Photo  : Danny Arnold

Lilac Beauty is another scarcely seen moth. Its larvae feed on Honeysuckle and Privet primarily. The name of the moth presumably comes from the lilac colour patches found on the wings.

             

                                                                                             Lilac Beauty                                   Photo  : Danny Arnold

The Peppered Moth in its usual form is shown in the bottom example below. The top picture shows the melanic form which in the Teme Valley is quite rare and not often seen.

             

                                                                                 Examples of the Peppered Moth                 Photo  : Danny Arnold

3 July Brian Marsh saw a Kestrel between Stockton and Stanford Bridge today. And Danny Arnold also saw one between Eardiston and Stockton today too. Same bird?

2 July Stuart Smith reports a pair of Spotted Flycatchers in the garden today at Wolferlow. And more flower photographs from John Abbiss on Oldwood Common. Nice to see the Common Spotted Orchid out again on this site and Summer just isn't summer without Foxgloves!

           

                                                                                     Common Spotted Orchid                                     Photo : John Abbiss

                                    

                                                                                              Foxglove                                     Photo : John Abbiss

           

                                                                                              Red Campion                                     Photo : John Abbiss

                                   

                                                                               Flora on Oldwood Common                             Photo : John Abbiss

1 July Over at Boraston, Rachel Packard has come across some Tree Bees in the eaves of her house. These insects really do appear quite widespread throughout the Teme Valley now.

            

            

                                                                                       Tree Bees foraging                             Photo  : Rachel Packard

And at Ken Willetts light trap, this small micro moth 1011 Pseudargyrotoza conwagana came to light last night. It is one of the smaller Tortrix moth species, but instantly recognisable from a distance by the apparent yellow dot on its back. It is fairly common in the Teme Valley as the food plant for its larvae is Ash, of which, the Valley has plenty.

 

            

                                                                        1011 Pseudargyrotoza conwagana                    Photo  : Ken Willetts

30 June Some really spectacular moth species came to Ken Willetts light trap last night. These included the Small Yellow Wave and the stunning Burnished Brass, which as can be seen, has a brass like colouration to it. The Bright Line Brown Eye was so named by the Victorian entomologists, and its fairly apparent why it was given this name. The larvae of the Micro moth Lathronympha strigana , is dependant on St. John's-wort (Hypericum) which is the food plant.

            

                                                             Small Yellow Wave Photo : Ken Willetts

            

                                                             Burnished Brass Photo : Ken Willetts

            

                                                             1219 Lathronympha strigana Photo : Ken Willetts

            

                                                            Bright Line Brown Eye Photo : Ken Willetts

28 June John Abbiss sent over these shots from Oldwood Common. Oldwood Common support a good variety of grasses and wild flowers and with John living virtually on the edge of the common, sees daily the changing floral landscape.

             

             

                                                       Flora on Oldwood Common Photos : John Abbiss

27 June Angie Hill from Martley sent in these two wonderful bee pictures. The first shows a Tree Bee coming in to land on a flower, whilst the second photo shows a Common Carder bee feeding.

              

                                                                                   Tree Bee Photo : Angie Hill

            

                                                              Common Carder Bee Photo : Angie Hill

Meantime, on the Highwood, Ken Willetts sent in this photo of one of our more common green coloured moths, the stunning Light Emerald.

             

                                                                         Light Emerald Photo : Ken Willetts

26 June Cycling through an orchard yesterday between Ockeridge and Hillside, Tim Studer was struck on the head by a swooping Buzzard. Presumably Tim inadvertently got a bit too close to the nest site. Or as Tim said in his email, perhaps the Buzzard just doesn't like cyclists!

On the Highwood, Ken Willetts trapped these tiny micro moths over night. The first is one of the Parornix species. Unfortunately there are several which all look very much alike and cannot be identified positively from just a photograph. This moth is only about 7mm in length.

           

                                                                  Parornix species Photo : Ken Willetts

Ken also sent this picture in of a second tiny moth. This is another extremely difficult group to identify, the Coleophora family. However, this is about the easiest of all that group. This is Coleophora mayrella.

            

                                                                518 Coleophora mayrella Photo : Ken Willetts

Rob Humphries sent in this picture from his phone of this tiny moth with enormous antennae. There are three common species of this type of moth which are called long horn moths (for obvious reasons - though they are not 'horns'). The antennae are up to two and a half times the length of the body. Afraid we cant tell which species it is though Rob.

            

                                                                long horn moth Photo : Rob Humphries

25 June And just to show that not all wildlife is found out in the open county, a pair of Collared Doves have taken up residence by building a nest on Sandra Coopers satellite dish bracket at Burford. The result is these two offspring. It provides shelter and very probably, a degree of two of additional warmth.

            

                                                           Collared Doves Nesting Photo : Sandra Cooper

Inspired by Jim MacDonalds photos, Ken Willetts went out and had a look at the bees that were colonising one of his bird boxes. It turns out that his are Tree Bees too! He also sent in a picture of a Dog Rose in the garden, just because its a nice picture. And why Not!

             

                                       Tree Bees taking up residence in a nest box Photo : Ken Willetts

             

                                                                         Tree Bee - Close Photo : Ken Willetts

                    

                                                                  Dog Rose Photo : Ken Willetts

And at Upper Rochford, the pair of Spotted Flycatchers on Danny Arnold's patch, have produced just one fledgling. The yellow gape around the edge of the mouth of the bird can be clearly seen as it calls to the parents to be fed.

             

                                                          Fledgling Spotted Flycatcher Photo : Danny Arnold

             

                                                                Adult Spotted Flycatcher Photo : Danny Arnold

24 June At Ashbed Woods, Boraston, Geoff Wookey spotted both Blackcap and Whitethroat with fledglings. Geoff also says he saw a Kestrel fly over. Meantime in his garden, he has a pair of Spotted Flycatchers feeding young.

On the Highwood, Ken Willetts sent in these photos from the contents of his light trap last night. Its been a long time coming, but finally there are moth records coming in thick and fast now that the weather has warmed up a little. But first, a nice picture of something else that came into Kens light trap last night. This rather colourful cranefly. It has been identified by entomologist Pete Boardman, who says that this species of crane fly, Nephrotoma flavescens, is a species typical of June and July and is often associated with grasslands, margins of agricultural landscapes, fields etc. He goes on to comment, There are two species with a light stigma and a shape on the head that looks like a playing card spade. The other species, Nephrotoma appendiculata is less brightly marked than this species. Thanks to Pete for this specialist knowledge.

            

                                                                Nephrotoma flavescens Photo : Ken Willetts

So, back to the moths. The first is a striking brown, white and yellow moth which, despite its large size, is actually taxonomically catergorised as a Micro Moth. This is the Small Magpie Moth, the larvae of which feed on Nettle and Bindweeds amongst other things.

             

                                                                Small Magpie Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

The next photo sent in by Ken is one of the moth, the Victorians named The Spectacle. It's not too obvious why its called this when seen from above........

              

                                                                         The Spectacle Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

........but when viewed head on, it all becomes very clear as to why it has this name. Its wearing Spectacles !

            

                                                ...why the Spectacle Moth is so called ! Photo : Ken Willetts

And at Upper Rochford, another new record for Danny Arnold's Birchfield site and indeed the Teme Valley. This micro moth was sweep netted from vegetation along a hedge line. It is Spuleria flavicaput, a distinctive dark grey micro moth with a bright yellow head and yellow palps. The larvae of this moth, which is only itself a few millimeters in length, burrow into and feed on Hawthorn twigs.

                              

                                                         904 Spuleria flavicaput Photo : Danny Arnold

This Female Ghost moth also made an appearance in the light trap. We know it is a female, as the male is completely different in appearance, being completely white. This is where the name Ghost Moth comes from, the white males, that can often be seen dancing like ghosts over grass land at dusk trying to attract females.

             

                                                                 Female Ghost Moth Photo : Danny Arnold

23 June Over at Stanford Bridge, Chris Mussell reports having Green Woodpeckers feeding on ants on his Lawn and a pair of Great Spotted Woodpecker with two fledglings on his bird table.

22 June At Boraston, Geoff Wookey had two new moths for his garden, taken at light he had a Common White Wave and 601 Elachista albifrontella, a distinctive black and white micro moth. Meantime, down the road from Geoff, at Frith Common, Pete & Vicki Stevens photographed this Large Skipper Butterfly in the garden.

            

                                                                     Large Skipper Photo : Vicki Stevens

And from Upper Rochford, some interesting moths from Danny Arnold's light traps last night. Small Dotted Buff turns up only very occasionally. Tinea semifulvella is a tiny micro, similar to others in the family group, but with a sing spot on its back helping greatly with identification. And Udea olivalis, a common pyralid moth, with its chocolate and white markings. The final two are both large Hawk Moths. The Lime Hawk Moth, as the name suggests is often associated with Lime trees, but in reality, can turn up anywhere, as can the spectacular Eyed Hawk Moth, so called because of its bright 'eye' markings on its underwing, the edges of which can just be seen in the photo.

              

                                                                   Small Dotted Buff Photo : Danny Arnold

            

                                                           246 Tinea semifulvella Photo : Danny Arnold

            

                                                                  1392 Udea olivalis Photo : Danny Arnold

            

                                                                Lime Hawk Moth Photo : Danny Arnold

             

                                                                   Eyed Hawk Moth Photo : Danny Arnold

21 June With a minimum low temperature of 15C last night as recorded at Upper Rochford, there was a veritable Moth fest amongst the moth recorders in the Teme Valley. Danny Arnold recorded in excess off 45 species including a new one for his Birchfield site. Indeed it was also a new record for in the Teme Valley, although there was a single record from Hunthouse Wood on the side of the Valley by Oliver Wadsworth in 2011. This is Ancylis diminutana, a tiny moth of only a few millimeters in length, but well marked for ID purposes with the diamond shaped patterning. The larvae of this moth feed on and mine the leaves of Sallows, living in damp areas and whilst it should be common, there are in fact very few records for Worcs generally.

                                     

                                                       1119a Ancylis diminutana Photo : Danny Arnold

Other micro moths that came into Danny's light traps last night, were the tiny Skin Moth - Monopis laevigella which lays it eggs in birds nests and the stunning tiny white micro Elachista argentella.

            

                                                  227 Skin Moth - Monopis laevigella Photo : Danny Arnold

             

                                                                   610 Elachista argentella Photo : Danny Arnold

Meantime, up the road from Danny at Highwood, Ken Willetts was trapping some impressive Macro moths, including this 'hairy' Lobster Moth and the Common Swift Moth. The Common Swift Moth doesn't lay its eggs on any particular plant. Rather the females lays her eggs by spraying them over the ground as she flies. The Swift Group of moths are some of the most primitive of our moth species.

            

                                                                      Lobster Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

             

                                                                        Common Swift Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

20 June Over at Great Witley, Dave and Sallyann Williams have sent in some more shots from their wildlife patch. Butterflies are just starting to appear in better numbers with the recent bout of warm weather we have had. The Orange Tip was one of the first to show and is clearly still around. The Peacock is another late Spring species, although not many have been reported this year as yet.

            

                                                         Male Orange-Tip Butterfly Photo : Sallyann Williams

             

                                                                  Peacock Butterfly Photo : Sallyann Williams

The warm weather has seen a big emergence of all of the common damsel fly species on our local pools. Dave and Sallyann have a good deal of water on their site, so seeing these two species is not to much of a surprise. Always nice to see.

            

                                                          Azure Damselflies Photo : Sallyann Williams

             

                                                             Large red damselfly Photo : Sallyann Williams

Ands finally, a picture showing the extreme damage Grey Squirrels can do. It is unlikely with this amount of bark stripping that this tree will survive in its current state.

             

                                                                Squirrel damage Photo : Sallyann Williams

Very often the most common species are overlooked. But Ken Willetts shows us that even (arguably) our most common moth is really quite spectacular in its own right. This is the Large Yellow Underwing, famed for crashing into a lighted windows during the summer.

              

                                                                  Large Yellow Underwing Photo : Ken Willetts

19 June One of Jim MacDonald's nest boxes has been taken over by these Tree Bees. A great garden record Jim! There is currently an ongoing national survey of this species. So if, like Jim, you have them in your garden, go on line, google Tree Bees and you'll find the survey page which is being run by the Natural History Museum through OPAL. Send your results in and make your sightings count even more.

             

             

             

             

                                                 Tree Bees taking over a nest box Photos : Jim MacDonald

18 June Some nice pictures came in from Angie Hill at Martley. The ladybird settling on a flower is very impressive. The other photos show a pair of Shield bugs in 'cop', another example of the moth trapped by Ken Willetts yesterday and a spider. Any idea of the ID on the spider?

                                   

                                                                 Ladybird landing Photo : Angie Hill

             

                                                             Shield bugs in cop Photo : Angie Hill

                                 

                                                                  1076 Celypha lacunana Photo : Angie Hill

            

                                                                    Spider with egg sac Photo : Angie Hill

17 June More moths from the Highwood and Ken Willetts latest two photos are so good that you would never guess the size of each of these moths. The Pale Tussock moth is a large macro moth coming in at about 35mm head to tail, whist the other, Celypha lacunana is tiny by comparison at around 7mm in length. The Pale Tussock moth has large antennae which sense pheromones given off by the female when she is ready to mate. Hence, the presence of these large feathered antennae on this individual mean that this is a male. Both moths are relatively common just now and may well come to a porch light near you.

             

                                                         Pale Tussock Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

                 

                                                           1076 Celypha lacunana Photo : Ken Willetts

16 June On the Cleobury to Tenbury road, Andrew Palmer saw a live Hedgehog in the middle of the road. Nice to see these small mammals making a bit of a comeback.

At Caynham, David Faulkner sent in this update. He has had Spotted Flycatcher back (possibly two) and a parade of fledglings appearing (Robin, House Sparrow, Goldfinch, Nuthatch, Great Tit, Pheasant, Great Spotted Woodpecker – several families of these) in the garden. He also reports a Song Thrush nest in a Pyrocanthus by his conservatory with 3 nestlings. Also, last Sunday on a walk over the Clee Hill he came across Meadow and Tree Pipits, Wheatears, Stonechats, Redstart, Linnets, Reed Buntings, Skylarks, Kestrel, Ravens (young on nest) and calling Cuckoo and Curlew

At Clifton on Teme, Simone Arnold snapped this picture through the kitchen window. Looks as though this Goldfinch is getting another nest ready with some sheep's fleece, ready for perhaps, a second brood?

                          

                                                         Goldfinch with fleece Photo : Simone Arnold

And more moths for Ken Willetts light trap on the Highwood. These are the Shuttle Shaped Dart, so called owing to the 'shuttle' marks seen on their wings and one of the more difficult group of moths to identify, the 'pug' group, this is a great example of a freshly emerged Common Pug.

                

                                                              Shuttle shaped dart Photo : Ken Willetts

           

                                                            Common Pug Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

15 June At Boraston, Geoff Wookey had a moth trap out last night and recorded these species, new for the year on his home patch Elephant Hawk-moth, Heart and Dart, Silver-ground Carpet and Buff Ermine

From their patch at Great Witley, Dave and Sallyann Williams sent in these two shots. The Fox was with two cubs and clearly, the Buttercups are doing really well throughout the Valley this year!

            

                                                                                Fox Photo : Dave Williams

            

                                                                More Buttercups Photo : Dave Williams

14 June On Oldwood Common, John Abbiss took these photos. The Dandelions have gone over and been replaced by the Buttercup which totally dominate the Common just now.

            

                                                                          Buttercups Photo : John Abbiss

            

                                                                                 Dandelions Photo : John Abbiss

Mean time, on the Highwood, Ken Willetts light trapped these two moths amongst others. The first, 1082 Hedya pruniana is one of the few moths that does have an English vernacular name. The Plum Tortrix Moth. Its a tiny moth, only a few millimeters in length and the larvae feed on both plum and blackthorn. The second moth Mottled Rustic lays eggs on Nettles and Dandelions

            

                                                                    1082 Hedya pruniana Photo : Ken Willetts

            

                                                                             Mottled Rustic Photo : Ken Willetts

13 June Up at Boraston in Geoff Wookey's home, the pool has been taken over by a Female Mandarin duck complete with two chicks. You may recall Geoff saw the Male about some time back. I wonder if the female was tucked away somewhere sitting on eggs?

At Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold the Male Redstart was back for a very short time, clearly still collecting food, but the fledglings we think have all gone as there were only fleeting glimpses of this bird now.

            

            

                                                                    Male Redstart Photos : Danny Arnold

On the Highwood, Ken Willetts moth trap produced two very nice late Spring species. The Buff Tip is arguably one of the most spectacular moths of our Country. Looking like a piece of broken silver birch twig, it blends into its background seamlessly. The other is the Pepper Moth. No guessing why this was so called by the Victorian entomologists of the time.

            

                                                                                   Buff Tip Photo : Ken Willetts

            

                                                                         Pepper Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

12 June At Stoke Bliss, Anna Turner heard the Cuckoo again this morning. This bird has clearly been around for a few weeks now.

Danny Arnold noticed a pair of Spotted flycatchers on one of the pools today, taking insects on the wing at will. Nice to see them back again at Upper Rochford.

             

            

                                                                Spotted Flycatcher Photos : Danny Arnold

And whilst watching the flycatchers, these two turned up, upset that I was on their territory.

            

                                                                                 Wren Photo : Danny Arnold

            

                                                                             Robin Photo : Danny Arnold

11 June Over on Abberley Hill, Ian Parkin heard his first Cuckoo of the year on his patch this morning.

10 June At Rochford, David Sothers sent in this remarkable series of photographs of a Stoat family which have taken up residence under his summer house. David also has several other pictures which we've asked him to put onto a separate web page and which when sorted, we will provide a link to. These pictures show what David believes to be the Mother and some of the four offspring she has had. Wonderful images!

            Photo

            Photo

            Photo

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                                                                 Stoat Family at play Photos : David Sothers

Perhaps a little unusual sight, a Grey Heron in a field. Joe Roseman managed to get a photo of the bird just before it took off. Presumably it was 'fishing' for insects or beetles?

             

                                                                     Grey Heron Photos : Joe Roseman

Eric Davies has been up on Catherton Common and taken these great images. The Common Heath moth is a day time flyer and can often be disturbed off heather at this time of year. A real upland species and a real stunner when fresh. The real jewel is the Green Hairstreak butterflies. Its great to see them on Catherton. And a Skylark. The epitamy of a warm sunny English afternoon in the fields.

             

                                                                  Common Heath Moth Photos : Eric Davies

             

                                                                      Green Hairstreak Photos : Eric Davies

             

                                                                  Green Hairstreak Photos : Eric Davies

             

                                                                        Skylark Photos : Eric Davies

More local to home, Eric took these photos of a pair of Redstart near to his home at Neen Sollars.

             

                                                                       Male Redstart Photos : Eric Davies

             

                                                                     Female Redstart Photos : Eric Davies

9 June At Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold had a pair of Redstart catching flies over one of the pools. This is the first time they have been seen on the site, so hopefully, they might be breeding. Unfortunately, the heavily cropped picture doesn't really do this stunning bird justice.

            

                                                                        Male Redstart Photo : Danny Arnold

One of the most variable moths colourwise is the Ingrailed Clay. Its variance catches out moth recorders all the time as it has so variable an appearance. Ken Willetts has sent in the 'usual' form trapped and recorded from last night trap.

            

                                                                      Ingrailed Clay Photo : Ken Willetts

8 June More moths from the trap at Highwood, Ken Willetts most recent captures included these two species. Firstly a very dark form of Common Marbled Carpet and secondly, the dark form of Clouded Bordered Brindle (See the more usual form under the 2nd June below)

            

                                                              Common Marbled Carpet Photo : Ken Willetts

            

                                                             Clouded Bordered Brindle Photo : Ken Willetts

6 June At Wolferlow, Elissa Aldous-Hughes witnessed a Red Kite flying over the church today. Nice to hear of these birds around the area. And At Highwood, Ken Willetts continues to record some interesting moth species. These two came to light last night. The Chocolate Tip moth, the name of which is pretty much self explanatory and, the Silver Cloud, a very scarce moth nationally and only really found in the Severn and Wye river valleys and their tributaries.

            

                                                        Chocolate Tip Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

            

Silver Cloud Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

4 June After a couple of weeks of silence, the Cuckoo was back calling over at Hanley Childe / Kyre this morning as noted by Annabel Elliott. At Boraston, Geoff Wookey had a Spotted Flycatcher in the garden today and whilst out on a walk with his dogs, he saw a Red Kite in the fields adjacent to Ashbed Woods.

3 June At Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman reports having had a Redstart in the Garden this morning. What a brilliant Garden record! Plus, she also reports having seen both Kestrel and Sparrowhawk on her patch recently. And at Upper Rochford, David Hambelton was awoken by a Cuckoo calling at 4:30am ! In Tenbury, Felicity Beaumont had a Kestrel hovering by her house. Kestrel are in steep decline nationally, so any sighting is a real bonus. There is currently a national survey going on, so if you too, like Felicity, see a Kestrel locally, please report it here. http://www.kestrelcount.org/ and make your sighting count.

2 June David & Jo Sothers at Rochford watched as a Rat ran over the Lawn and then under their Summer House. Then later in the day, a Stoat came along the same track, under the Summer House and brought out a Rat!! What a brilliant garden record!

And on the Highwood, Ken Willetts trapped and recorded a few moth species last night including this Common Pug moth and a Clouded Bordered Brindle. The Tawny Owl chick had a narrow escape. Ken was mowing the lawn in the Orchard and noticed this little fellow just in time (but not before he got showered in grass cuttings!)

            

                                                                     Tawny Owl Chick Photo : Ken Willetts

            

                                                                        Common Pug Photo : Ken Willetts

            

                                                              Clouded Bordered Brindle Photo : Ken Willetts

1 June Brian Marsh confirms hearing a Cuckoo at Stockton on Teme today.

John Abbiss noted that Oldwood Common was a blaze of colour this year with a myriad of wild flowers growing on it. So he contacted Steph Mocroft to come over so they could do a botanical survey of just what was there. Here are some of the wild flower species recorded by both.

                                              

                                                                 Flower photos Photos : John Abbiss

31 May Eric Davies photographed this rarity at Neen Sollars this week. A Pied Flycatcher. Not seen in the area for many a year.

           

                                                                        Pied Flycatcher Photo : Eric Davies

29 May Jeremy Hughes had a pair of Red Kite circling above his farm house at Hillwood this morning. A great record!

28 May Tim Studer still has a Cuckoo calling at Martley. And Jim MacDonald from over at Ludlow sent in these two photos. One of House Sparrow fledgling thinking about making its first exit out of the nest box into the big wide world. The other of a Large White Butterfly, having freshly emerged from its cocoon.

           

                                                                  Large White Butterfly & Cocoon Photo : Jim MacDonald

            

                                                                 House Sparrow Fledgling Photo : Jim MacDonald

27 May Pete & Vicki Stevens had this Great Crested Newt turn up at their House at Frith Common and also found this Sulphur Polyphore on an old Cherry. Pete says the fungus is currently about 8 inches across and still growing!

            

                                                                     Great Crested Newt Photo : Pete Stevens

            

                                                                    Sulphur Polyphore Photo : Pete Stevens

And at Highwood, Ken Willetts trapped this smart looking geometer moth called the Small Phoenix.

            

                                                                    Small Phoenix. Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

26 May Caroline Roseman had the Red Kite at Lower Rochford this morning, and also reports good numbers of Orange Tip Butterflies are being seen on her patch today. And right on queue, Ken Willetts sent in this photo of a Male Orange Tip Butterfly seen in his garden today.

            

                                                         Male Orange Tip Butterfly Photo : Ken Willetts

24 May Over at Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman has had the first Swifts of the year back over her house today. And at Boraston, Rachel Packard found this Green Carpet moth in her bathroom this morning.

             

                                                               Green Carpet Moth Photo : Rachel Packard

23 May Angie Hill at Martley sent in this picture of a Warbler. Steve Whitehouse has had a look at the picture and like Angie, believes its likely to be a Chiffchaff, though he does say it is extremely difficult from this angle to be fully sure of the ID.

                                  

                                                                            Chiffchaff (?) Photo : Angie Hill

Angie also sent in these two photos from her patch in Martley. The first is a Saw Fly Athalia cyanocrocea. The identification is by Geoff Trevis and Harry Green - with thanks. The second is of a Yellow Archangel flower.

            

                                                               Saw Fly Athalia cyanocrocea Photo : Angie Hill

                            

                                                                        Yellow Archangel Photo : Angie Hill

22 May At Oldwood Common, David Patrick sent in these photos. From earlier in the week, the stunning Wild Cherry blossom, and on the ground, the exceptional display of Lady's Smock / Cuckoo flower on the Common itself.

            

                                                    Stunning white Cherry Blossom Photo : David Patrick

            

                                                            Wild Cherry Blossom Photo : David Patrick

            

                                                Lady's Smock on Oldwood Common Photo : David Patrick

            

                                                  Lady's Smock / Cuckoo flower Photo : David Patrick

21 May Just the other side of the Temeside Pub at Little Hereford, there were a good number of very low flying Swiftsskimming the trees bordering the roadside this afternoon. At Shelsley Beachamp, Peter Broadley heard a Cuckoo calling.

18 May At the light traps of Danny Arnold at Upper Rochford, there were two 'new for the year' moth species in last night. A fairly common one that appears in late Spring, the Pebble Prominent, and the much rarer Mullein Moth. The Mullein moth has only ever been recorded in the Teme Valley about seven times in the past and there less than 130 records for this species for the whole of Worcs. So a nice record.

            

                                                                         Mullein Moth Photo : Danny Arnold

            

                                                              Pebble Prominent Moth Photo : Danny Arnold

And at Clifton on Teme, Simone Arnold saw this Caddis fly in the garden.

                            

                                                                      Caddis fly Photo : Simone Arnold

17 May John Abbiss had a stream of Swallows flying in from a South Westerly direction today over at Oldwood Common.

16 May Up on the Clee at the Dhu stone Quarry, Danny Arnold photographed these two summer visitors.

            

                                                                  Female Wheatear Photo : Danny Arnold

            

                                                                     Meadow Pipit Photo : Danny Arnold

Then later, Danny photographed these three birds down by the pools at Birchfield, Upper Rochford.

           

                                                                                 Wren Photo : Danny Arnold

            

                                                                          Nuthatch Photo : Danny Arnold

            

                                                                                 Dunnock Photo : Danny Arnold

15 May Geoff Wookey had the first Swifts of the year flying over the house today today.

14 May At Ashbed Woods, Boraston, Geoff Wookey had a single Lapwing fly over today.

12 May From the Highwood photographer, Ken Willetts, comes this great shot of a Song Thrush, busy collecting insects to feed the brood.

            

                                                                      Song Thrush. Photo : Ken Willetts

Today was the monthly walk held by the Group and we went to the Novers Wood on the Clee Hill to Tenbury Road. Our guide for the Afternoon was Glynn Barrett, chairman of the Clee Hill Heritage Trust who showed us around the old industrial landscape that now has been overtaken by woodland. Glynn showed various wood craft practices that were going on in the woodland and showed practical woodland management projects that were in place and on going.

             

                                    Exiting one of the underground mining tunnels on the site Photo : Austin Palmer

             

                                             The 'Roundhouse' project on the site Photo : Austin Palmer

             

                                                Glynn Barrett (center) talking about the site Photo : Austin Palmer

And before the walk, at Upper Rochford this morning, Danny Arnold took this picture of a Great Spotted Woodpecker on a peanut feeder. It was raining at the time and this bird was just clinging on motionless almost as if it were asleep. This lasted for about three minutes, before it decided to once again start feeding. And whilst watching the Woodpecker, this Greenfinch came into a conifer some way off, nicely camouflaged. Nice to see these birds back in the garden this year.

            

                                                    Great Spotted Woodpecker Photo : Danny Arnold

                                   

                                                                       Greenfinch Photo : Danny Arnold

10 May At Hillwood, Eastham, Charlotte Hughes heard a commotion in the Apple Orchard and witnessed two Crows mobbing a Red Kite. Charlotte said it was in the area and over the house for about an hour today, the first time she had seen one this year.

8 May Sometimes its fairly easy to recognise certain individuals of a particular species. Caroline Roseman at Lower Rochford photographed this Buzzard flying over. That tear in its feathers should be fairly recognizable if seen in the area in the future.

            

                                                                         Buzzard. Photo : Caroline Roseman

7 May Out towards Frith Common / Menith Wood, Pete & Vicki Stevens heard the Cuckoo again tonight. And earlier in the day, Ken Willetts opened his light trap this morning to find this tiny micro moth. It is of the Parornix family of moths, but unfortunately, it is not possible to tell which actual moth species it is just from looking at it, as they all look alike. That said, the most likely candidate from confirmed dissected records over the years in this area and at this time of year, would probably make it P.finitimella The moth is tiny with a length of about 7 mm .

             

                                                                          Parornix sp. Photo : Ken Willetts

6 May May Bank Holiday and what a wonderful day! Blue Skies and warm sunshine. What a change! At Upper Rochford, the warm sun allowed Danny Arnold to see a Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly, Peacock, Comma, Common Blue, Green veined White and a male Orange Tip Butterfly today. These are pretty much the first ones for the year seen...and all on the same beautiful day.

Danny also became aware of two nesting Blackcaps which were clearly sitting on a nest in a large Laurel hedge by the House.

At Upper Sapey, the Cuckoo Doh Gannon reported yesterday was still calling in the area today.

5 May At Upper Rochford, Dave Baynton from Bristol visiting family, reports seeing a Redstart in a hedge on a field adjoining Caroline Roseman's land today. Possibly the same bird as Joe saw yesterday?

At Upper Sapey, Doh Gannon reports a Cuckoo. This could be a 'new bird' this year, and possibly the same bird that came to the area last year.

At Lower Frith Common, Pete and Vicki Stevens were alerted to the presence of a Red Kite over their garden, by the honking of the Gander. THe Red Kite stayed circling for about 5 minutes much to the Ganders annoyance!

And whilst digging in his compost heap, Ken Willetts disturbed this Slow Worm.

            

                                                                     Slow Worm Photo : Ken Willetts

4 May At Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman's husband Joe reports seeing a Redstart in the Damson Orchard today. Caroline meanwhile saw her first Orange Tip Butterfly today and reports good numbers of Cowslips on her land just now.

Over at Stoke Bliss, Chris & Jenny Rodgers confirm the Cuckoo is still present in the Stoke Bliss area, having heard it calling a couple of mornings recently. They also have had a Bullfinch in the garden and seen several Yellowhammers in the lane by their house.

3 May More good bird reports in again today. David Faulker had a Red Kite over his garden at Caynham yesterday. The first one he's seen for a long time he reports. David Sothers sent in a note from Jason Bull who reported a Cuckoo at Little Witley, just out of our area on the 1st May and a Cuckoo at Menith Wood yesterday.

At Highwood, Ken Willetts sent in this picture of a hovering Kestrel over his garden. Ken says it dropped onto and picked up on a small rodent, before taking it away to a telegraph pole to devour.

          

                                                                           Kestrel Photo : Ken Willetts

And perhaps one of the strangest pictures for this time of year. These two photos were taken last week on the 27th April Alastair Hardy heard an unfamiliar chattering noise in the tree behind his house. Going out to investigate, he found these 12 Waxwing! They should have been long gone by now. They obviously stayed around in the area, as they were back for a short time on the 28th April too, before flying off.

            

            

                                                                       Waxwings Photos : Alastair Hardy

2 May Peter Broadley heard the Stoke Bliss Cuckoo again today. Mike Harley had the Cuckoo calling at Menith Wood today. A good indication that this bird is staying around that area. And just down the road, Margaret Chaffy had a strange white bird on her niger seed feeders today. At first she thought it might be a Snow Bunting, but we think we got to the bottom of it and reckon it was the albinistic Lesser Redpoll that Mike Harley had on the 16th April (see below) in his garden, which is just up the lane from Margaret. Great Records again !

The numbers about of the Orthosia family of moths, of which this Powdered Quaker is one, is significantly down this year. This pristine specimen was trapped by Ken Willetts in his light trap on the Highwood.

             

                                                             Powdered Quaker Photo : Ken Willetts

1 May The reports of Cuckoo's continue to come in which is great news. Today, Pete & Vicki Stevens heard one at Lower Frith Common and Tim Studer had one calling from the Kingswood direction just west of Martley.

30 April The Cuckoo is making itself known today. Anna Turner heard the Stoke Bliss bird again this morning as did Peter Broadley and Bill Spice heard the Menith Wood bird. At Ashbed Woods, Geoff Wookey reported his first Willow Warbler of the year and Ken Willetts was out with his camera at Highwood taking these wild flower pictures.

                                      

                                                                                 Cowslip Photo : Ken Willetts

              

                                                                                      Primroses Photo : Ken Willetts

29 April On his usual morning walk around Ashbed woods and pools, Geoff Wookey had a pair of Goosander on the pool this morning. Interestingly, he also found a single male Mandarin Duck on the water too? Was this the same bird that came to roost just about half a mile away at his house two days ago? Must be surely?

28 April At Stoke Bliss again, but this time by Anna Turner, the Cuckoo was heard yesterday evening and again this morning. This tends to indicate it might be staying in the area.

On his bird table at Stanford Bridge, Chris Mussell managed to get a photo of this Male Blackcap. There are now plenty of this species present in the Teme Valley.

             

                                                                                   Blackcap (Male) Photo : Chris Mussell

27 April At Stoke Bliss yesterday morning, Pete Broadley heard the Cuckoo. And at Boraston, Geoff Wookey had to do a double take when he looked out of the window this morning to see this male Mandarin Duck perched high in a tree at the bottom of his garden, over looking the pond.

            

                                                                      Mandarin Duck (Male) Photo : Geoff Wookey

At Stockton on Teme, Bill Spice recorded this quite rare Worcs Moth in his over night Moth Trap. The Dotted Chestnut is a moth about which very little is known about in the wild, mainly due to its relatively scarce abundance. There are less than 100 records for the whole of Worcs for this species (and about 10% of these come from the Teme Valley!). The larvae are thought to feed on a range of deciduous trees. The adult appears in October and over winters fully grown, appearing in the spring to mate and lay eggs.

               

                                                                         Dotted Chestnut Moth Photo : Bill Spice

26 April A very exciting report from Tim Studer today, whilst just out of our area between Ledbury and Malvern, had sighting of a Male Hen Harrier. This is a very rare bird in the Midlands

At Ludlow, Jimmy MacDonald had this Bee fly in the garden. There are two types in this area, the ones photographed below and one that is just starting to come into the area called the Dotted Beefly. The ones below are the more common of the two.

             

             

                                                             Bee Fly (Bombylius major) Photos : Jimmy MacDonald

25 April A Red Kite was seen by Peter Broadly between Clifton and Ham Bridge today. Jim Millar had the first Cuckoo reported to be back at Milson today. And another Cuckoo was back, this time heard by friends of Roger and Simone Arnold at the church at Clifton on Teme. And a third bird, this time another Cuckoo was heard at Stoke Bliss by Anna Turner. All three of these birds were reported being heard around the same sort of time, which indicates there are definitely three different birds. Also interesting to note, all three of these areas also had Cuckoos present for several weeks last year.

At Highwood, Ken Willetts had this Streamer Moth into his trap, so named by the Victorian entomologists of the time, owing to its 'streamers' seen in its wing pattern.

           

                                                                             Streamer Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

24 April A Cuckoo was heard by Annabel Elliott over by Kyre Pool today and Annabel also reports two Tufted Duck on her garden pool today. At Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold noticed from the Kitchen window, this Green Woodpecker searching for insects on a distant Scots Pine.

                                         

                                                                 Green Woodpecker Photo : Danny Arnold

Whilst out and about, Ken Willetts managed to take this lovely Pied Wagtail (and reflection) in a local farm track puddle.

            

                                                                                Pied Wagtail Photo : Ken Willetts

23 April The Whitethroat must have followed him home yesterday, as Geoff Wookey had one in the garden this morning. At Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold had a Spotted Flycatcher down by one of the pools alighting back and forth from the same branch taking flies.

22 April A Cuckoo for Pauline Hardy at Woonton this evening, the first one for her this year, and at Ashbed Woods, Geoff Wookey had his first Whitethroat of the year.

21 April Another so called Micro Moth for Ken Willetts last night, although this is one of the larger Micro Moths with a wing span of about 25mm. This is 663 Diurnea fagella and its a male. We know this because the female has no wings and is thus flightless. The caterpillar of this moth feed on various deciduous trees and is one of the few early spring micro moth species.

              

                                                                            663 Diurnea fagella Photo : Ken Willetts

And at Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman has been out photographing the Spring, with these lovely array of shots.

                            

                                                                         Cowslip Photo : Caroline Roseman

                            

                                                                    Small Tortoiseshell Photo : Caroline Roseman

                            

                                                                                         Bee Photo : Caroline Roseman

                            

                                                                                Comma Photo : Caroline Roseman

                            

                                                                                      Bluebell Photo : Caroline Roseman

                            

                                                                                Celandine Photo : Caroline Roseman

                            

                                                                           Wood anemone Photo : Caroline Roseman

20 April At Stoke Bliss, Anna Turner reports the return of Swallows to the area.

From Ken Willetts moth trap, over night came in this tiny Caloptilia species. Not much more than an eight of an inch in length, this could be one of two very similar species. Going on past confirmed records it is most likely to be Caloptilia elongella.

              

                                                                      Caloptilia elongella (?) Photo : Ken Willetts

Teresa Haycox reports the first Cuckoo of the year in the area. Teresa is at Upper Sapey where she heard the bird this morning.

At Boraston, Geoff Wookey spotted a pair of Goosander on Ashbed Pools today. He also saw his first Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly of the year too. Geoff also spotted this very pale Lesser Redpoll in the garden today too.

              

                                                                                      Lesser Redpoll Photo : Geoff Wookey

At Woodston, the Swallows are back over the Oast Houses, as photographed by Pete Thorp.

                

                

                                                                       Swallows Photo : Pete Thorp

At Clifton on Teme, Roger and Simone Arnold saw this Field Mouse scuttling about on a wall in the garden.

     

                                                                  Field Mouse Photo : Roger & Simone Arnold

19 April Over at Frith Common, Pete and Vicki Stevens had their first Swallow back today. Just a single bird so far.

Out of our area, but a keen supporter of our local Group, Stuart Lamb had a Brimstone Butterfly in the garden today and also reports seeing both Chiffchaff and a Beefly (Bombylius major) in the garden this week.

And out at Martley, Tim Studer had 3 Brimstone and 4 Peacock Butterfly's on a walk in the area today.

At Eastham, Ian & Diana Parkin had their first Swallow sighting of the year today.

And at Ken Willetts Highwood moth recording garden, Ken had this very fresh and well marked Brindled Pug Moth. There are several species of Pug Moth and they are an extremely difficult Group to identify. Fortunately, this Brindled Pug is one of only about three of the Pug species that is around this early in the year.

              

                                                                               Brindled Pug Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

18 April At Woonton, Pauline Hardy had her first sighting of the year of a Peacock Butterfly. At Oldwood Common John Abbiss had two Whooper Swans fly over his house, presumably making their way back north to the Arctic where they breed. Alan Althorp at Ludlow had a Red Kite flying over Street Road for about 15 minutes on the 14th April in the early evening, and again the following morning. And Geoff Wookey's House Martins are back, searching out their nesting site under the eaves of his house.

17 April At Ashbed Woods, Geoff Wookey had a Red Kite fly over. He also saw 18 Linnet on a recently seeded field. At Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman had the first two Swallows of the year over the house this evening.

Charlotte & Jimmy from Ludlow have heard several Willow Warblers and Chiffchaff over in the Mortimer Forest. And at Frith Common, Phil Morgan had his first Swallows over the house for the year.

16 April Down at Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman is continuing to see interesting wildlife on her patch. Today she had a Red Kite above one of her fields. She also had a Brimstone butterfly, a first for the year and a buff tailed bumble bee.

And after an absence of a few weeks, the partially albinistic Lesser Redpoll has returned to Mike Harley's garden.

            

                                                               Partially Albino Lesser Redpoll Photos : Mike Harley

15 April At Upper Rochford, the first Chiffchaff of the year was heard by Danny Arnold at Birchfiield. On the moth front, the first Brindled Pug of the year came in last night.

Chris Mussell had his first two Swallows of the year at his home at Stanford Bridge. He also had two boxing Brown Hares in the orchard opposite. Annabel Elliott at Hanley Childe also had her first Swallows back today.

Rachel Packard heard her first ChiffChaff of the year at Boraston this morning.

Jack Jabczynsky of Hanley Child Had a Red Kite overhead at Hanley Childe this last weekend.

At Wolferlow, Stuart Smith has had today, 11 swallows, a female blackcap, three Willow Warblers in the garden and a Lesser Redpoll and six Chiffchaffs elsewhere in Wolferlow.

Charlotte & Jimmy from Ludlow had both House Martins and Swallows over the River Teme at Ludlow today.

And over at Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman finally got the picture she was after of the Fallow Deer she keeps seeing about.

              

                                                                              Fallow Deer Photo : Caroline Roseman

At Rochford moth records have been very sparse this year. However this plume moth did come into to one of the light traps run by Danny Arnold over night. This is Amblyptilia acanthadactyla. This particular moth will have hibernated over winter and just re-emerged with these last couple of warm days we've had. The larvae feed in June and in August on the flowers and young leaves of a large range of plants, including restharrow (Ononis spp.), Hedge woundwort (Stachys sylvatica), cranesbills and cultivated geraniums (Geranium spp.), goosefoots (Chenopodium spp.), heathers (Calluna and Erica spp.), and mints (Mentha spp.)

                

                                                              1497 Amblyptilia acanthadactyla Photo : Danny Arnold

Geoff Wookey managed to get this shot of a Buzzard that uses a tree at the bottom of his garden at Boraston.

                

                                                                                       Buzzard Photo : Geoff Wookey

14 April The second outdoor walk of the year was held today. Alastair Hardy organised the event with a walk through the Rea Valley from Neen Sollars. About a dozen people turned up on what was a dismal rainy day, but we were rewarded with a Dipper sighting down on the weir and the start of the Wood anemone emergence, which is very late this year, on the river bank under the trees. A Swallow also flashed past over the fields, the first sighting of the year of this species for some of the members on the walk.

                 

                                                                   Rea Valley Walk Photo : Austin Palmer

                 

                                                                              Rea Valley Walk Photo : John Abbiss

Also seen on the walk was this Golden Saxifrage, ID'd by Nick Benbow. Nick says there are two types of this plant of which, this is the more common.

                 

                                               Golden Saxifrage (chrysosplenium oppositifolium) Photo : John Abbiss

Moth wise, Danny Arnold had his first Blossom Underwing of the year, a moth that is not that common, although there are always a few reports from the Teme Valley each year.

13 April At his moth trap on the Highwood, Ken Willetts trapped and recorded this stunning spring moth, the Shoulder Stripe.

                

                                                                   Shoulder Stripe Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

12 April Geoff Wookey and Tim Studer both had the first Swallows over their respective gardens today in Boraston and Martley respectively. Geoff also had a brightly coloured male Redstart in the hedge by his house, but unfortunately, no camera!

11 April Chris Mussell had Sand Martins on the River bridge in Tenbury today.

10 April Ashbed Woods gave Geoff Wookey his first Chiffchaff of the year. Five in fact were calling out., He also had a further three on the track way later.

On the River Teme, Tim Studer sent in these prints that he took last week down by the river, which he believes to be that of an Otter.

                                   

                                                                                Otter prints Photo : Tim Studer

Over on the Highwood, the White Marked moth has appeared again this year. This moth really is a Teme Valley specialty. More than 70% of all the records for the whole of Worcs for this species, come from the Teme Valley. Very little is known about this moth in the Wild as it is by no means common. In this area however, it does very well.

           

                                                                   White Marked Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

9 April Whilst out at Stipers Bank, Margaret Bradley saw her first Swallow of the year today.

8 April And another moth for Ken Willetts. Last night this Clouded Drab came into his trap. This is a very variable species.

            

                                                                              Clouded Drab Photo : Ken Willetts

7 April Over at Knighton on Teme Chris Kemble had her first Chiffchaff of the year today. She also had a white ferret in the garden! An escapee maybe?

Caroline Roseman at Lower Rochford had a Fallow Deer on the driveway again today and her husband and son saw a Tawny Owl in the late evening.

Meantime on the Highwood, Ken Willetts trapped this moth last night. Another not particularly common species, but one that does quite well in the Teme Valley. It is called a Lead Coloured Drab.

             

                                                                    Lead Coloured Drab Photo : Ken Willetts

6 April A new record for Geoff Wookey at Ashbed Woods today, he had a pair of Teal on the pools. At Wolferlow, Stuart Smith had his first Chiffchaff of the year and 15 Meadow Pipit. He also recorded a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly and a single Skylark singing overhead.

5 April Rachel Packard at Boraston had two Red Legged Partridge in the garden today. A new record for her garden list. She says that she also had only her third Siskin of the year on the feeders today too. Over at Ashbed Woods, just north of Boraston, Geoff Wookey two Reed Bunting, a few Meadow Pipits and a single Cormorant.

1 April David Norsworthy out towards Leominster sent in this remarkable photo of Yellowhammer feeding at his bird table. David says that he often gets up to seven of these birds feeding at once. This species is not often reported in the area, so again, a great record, especially for the garden.

              

                                                                   Yellowhammer Photo : David Norsworthy

30 March Stuart Smith over at Wolferlow, sent in a summary of March's records for his patch. He says he's had a Jay daily in the garden along with 2 Siskin, 2 Nuthatches and 5 meadow pipits. Elsewhere in Wolferlow 9 Song Thrush together checking out a melted section of field – birds of a feather flock together!

Caroline Roseman at Lower Rochford had a great wildlife day today. This morning she was out walking and came across two Fallow Deer on her drive. A fairly unusual sighting so a great record for the area.

Then this afternoon, she heard a thump on the patio window and found this Sparrowhawk, concussed outside. Caroline and her husband Jo assumed the bird dead, but it started to move a little when picked up and eventually, took to the wing, apparently no worse for wear, than perhaps a bad head ache!. Great photos Caroline.

              

              

                                                                       Sparrowhawk Photos : Caroline Roseman

29 March Joyce Horsfall at Eastham sent a note in saying that she had a Hawfinch on her bird feeder a couple of days ago. What a great garden record!

John Abbiss sent in these photos of a Starling flock up at Oldwood Common. John also says he saw a Barn Owl quartering over the common following the recent snow, and the Kestrel has also been see about. Geoff Wookey also sent over a note saying that he too had been seeing large Starling flocks about over at Boraston. He says he usually sees fairly small flocks, but of late, he estimates a size of 500+ birds.

              

              

                                                                                 Starling Flock Photos : John Abbiss

And another visitor to Ken Willetts garden, this Collared Dove.

             

                                                                              Collared Dove Photo : Ken Willetts

27 March At Hanley William, Annabel Elliott had a flock of 30 - 40 Waxwing in the Cherry Orchard today. Annabel says that they were present with some Redwing, which she sees regularly, but this flock of Waxwing must have come in today. This is an interesting report as we also had another unconfirmed report of there being a flock of Waxwing at Neen Savage a few days earlier. Could it be the same flock?

25 March On the HighWood, Ken Willetts took these three shots of some of the visitors to the garden. Siskin have done very well this year and there are certainly more records of Brambling about.

            

                                                                       Siskin - Female Photo : Ken Willetts

            

                                                                              Brambling Photo : Ken Willetts

            

                                                                              Chaffinch - Male Photo : Ken Willetts

24 March At Knighton on Teme, Richard Pill came back with these great photo records. All three winter species of visitors you might expect to see on the bird feeders arrived today, including this stunning Lesser Redpoll who's colours are stunning!

           

                                                                         Lesser Redpoll & Siskin Photo : Richard Pill

           

                                                                 Brambling Photo : Richard Pill

22 March On Old Wood Common, John Abbiss shot these snowy scenes.

           

                                                                           Snowy Copse Photo : John Abbiss

            

                                                                      Goldfinch on Teasels Photo : John Abbiss

21 March Over at Boraston, Geoff Wookey had another first bird tick for his garden, A Red Legged Partridge. Also whilst walking the dog, he also came across 21 Mistle Thrush in a field. He said he expected them to be Fieldfare, but on closer inspection with binoculars, it proved they were indeed Mistle Thrush. Geoff also had one of his neighbours report a possible Black Redstart in the garden today.

At Stoke Bliss Chris & Jenny Rodgers had a large Hare in the Orchard today.

On the Highwood, Ken Willetts managed to trap a single Early Grey Moth in his light trap over night. A nice looking species.

            

                                                                        Early Grey Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

20 March At the indoor meeting of the Teme Valley Wildlife Group on Thursday Night we asked members to look out for the tell tale signs of a small moth larvae found on Harts Tongue Fern. Several folk came back with important records for the two species concerned. Pete and Vicki Stevens at Frith Common, re-found the caterpillar of the moth species P.verhuella on the plant, having first found it two years ago. They also found additional plants in the same area with the caterpillar grubs on the leaves.

             

                               The caterpillar of P.verhuella on Harts Tongue Fern Photo : Pete & Vicki Stevens

17 March Today was the first of our outdoor walks for the Group in 2013. The weather was kind after the days of rain, so whilst sunny, it was a bit wet underfoot. We went over Oldwood Common and down to Berrington Mill. This was some of the Group setting off, as taken by John Abbiss, before the clay got too heavy on the boots!

             

                                                                     The start of the walk Photo : John Abbiss

            

                                                                 Snow Drops on the walk Photo : John Abbiss

16 March Right on cue, this March Moth came to light at Ken Willetts moth trap last night. A common species at this time of year and quite a delicate species with drab, but subtle markings.

             

                                                                                   March Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

15 March On the edge of Tenbury, David Patrick sent in this picture of a Long Tailed Field Mouse, or Wood Mouse as it is often called. David says that he has a pair that regularly get trapped in the bird food bin.

              

                                           The Long Tailed Field Mouse or Wood Mouse Photo : David Patrick

And at Hanley Broadheath, Alan Micklethwaite found this moth on the underside of a Harts Tongue fern in the garden, whilst looking for the signs of another much smaller moth, P.verhuella, the larvae of which he did find in the sorbus of the plant.

This moth is called Dotted Border. I guess the name was pretty logical when the Victorian entomologists named it all those years ago!

              

                                                               Dotted Border Moth Photo : Alan Micklethwaite

11 March In the same location as yesterday, Geoff Wookey reports the Skylark are still there and today, he also came across 6 Corn Bunting in the field. Another good record for this under reported bird in the area.

10 March Over at Ashbed Woods, Geoff Wookey saw a flock of around 20 Skylark. Very encouraging signs.

Meantime at Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold witnessed a male Sparrowhawk glide through and take a Blue Tit off one of the bird feeders. Danny also saw two Kestrel, one at Hilltop and one just past the Fox pub at Hanley Broadheath.

9 March At Stockton, Brian Marsh had a Frog invasion overnight. He says there were none apparent yesterday, but this morning around two dozen have appeared and are busy mating.

On the moth front, its been another poor start of the year for our winter / spring moths. Numbers are very much down, as are species appearance in general. One of the most common moths in the UK is the Hebrew Character, shown below, which came into the light trap of Ken Willetts on the Highwood. But even this was a solitary specimen. A few years ago there would be a dozen or more in the light trap at this time of year. The other moth Ken trapped is the Satellite, so named owing to its moon an two distinct satellites shown on the wings. Again, in previous years, a relatively common species. The "moon and satellites" design sometimes also come in orange rather than white.

            

                                                                  Hebrew Character Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

            

                                                                       Satellite Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

7 March This colourful moth is the Oak Beauty which emerges late February / early March each year. This one came into the light traps of Danny Arnold at Upper Rochford.

            

                                                                  Oak Beauty Moth Photo : Danny Arnold

6 March A couple of nice seasonal shots from the garden of Ken Willetts. Snowdrops seem to be doing really well this year with plenty about. It feels like spring is sprung!

            

                               

                                                                         Snowdrops Photos : Ken Willetts

5 March On the Highwood, Ken Willetts took this photo of a Great Tit showing that even our common small birds that we take for granted each day are stunning.

            

                                                                           Great Tit Photo : Ken Willetts

4 March We have been asked if we can post some video of the Buzzards on the Raptor table at Upper Rochford. So here's some footage taken by Danny Arnold and his camera trap of two Buzzards scraping it out for some 'road kill' put on the platform.

            

                                                         Buzzard Tug of War Video & Photo : Danny Arnold

                                                                     (Double Click the photo to see video)

2 March At Upper Rochford, an IR camera was triggered last night by this very unusual sight. A Tawny Owl feeding on a dead 'road kill' carcass put up on a tree platform for the local Buzzards. This feeding behaviour is alluded to in texts, but it is not very well documented and information generally on this is quite scarce. This makes this video footage taken by Danny Arnold quite unusual. Double Click the image to play the video on YouTube.

          

                                                     Tawny Owl feeding on carcass Video & Photo : Danny Arnold

                                                                       (Double Click the photo to see video)

Over at Great Witley, Sallyann Williams came across this Elf's Cup Fungi on their land.

            

                                                                    Elf's Cup Fungi Photo : Sallyann Williams

28 February The number of Cormorant Geoff Wookey is seeing at the pools at Ashbed Woods is increasing. Today he witnessed a total of 30 Cormorant in the air over the pools.

27 February Out with the dog this morning, Geoff Wookey saw a field with circa 60 Lapwing in it at Ashbed Woods. These might be some of the flock seen yesterday at Eastham, or they may be a new flock. Certainly, there seem to be far more Lapwing around this year, than in previous years. Geoff also had eight Cormorant on the pools.

On the Lower Rochford to Tenbury road last night, Caroline Roseman saw a Barn Owl fly across the road. And this morning, she had a mixed flock of Fieldfare, Redwing and Starling in the field by the house.

And up at Highwood, Ken Willetts spotted this Red-Legged Partridge in with the pheasants on the lawn today.

           

                                                                               Red-Legged Partridge Photo : Ken Willetts

David Whymant sent in this photo of a footprint in the mud, looking through the water in his pond. David says it is about 2.5 inches across and appears to have some webbing between the toes. He wonders if it might be Otter visiting his pool?If you have any thoughts, please feel free to email us.

           

                                                       Otter Print in the water? Photo : David Whymant

26 February Whilst out in the car, Danny Arnold spotted the flock of around 100 Fieldfare seen by Pete on the 24th, in the hop field opposite the Nags Head car park at Lindridge. Also seen whilst out were a flock in excess of 200 Lapwing on the field on the opposite side of the road to the 'Buzzard Field' at Eastham.

            

                                                                Fieldfare taking flight Photo : Danny Arnold

            

            

                                                               Lapwing at Eastham Bridge Photos : Danny Arnold

24 February Walking the dog around Ashbed Woods at Boraston, Geoff Wookey noted the following birds. 56 Mallard, 16 Canada Geese, 4 Mute Swans and 2 Moorhen plus 26 Lapwing that flew over as well.

Meantime at Woodston, Pete Thorp reported circa 100 Fieldfare this morning, on the field adjacent to his drive way.

23 February Joe Roseman at Lower Rochford realised he had some interesting birds on his pool yesterday. They were quite skittish and didn't much care for human company, taking off as Joe approached camera in hand. Clearly however, they are as Joe suggests, four Goosander.

             

                                                                           Goosander Photo : Joe Roseman

22 February Margaret Bradley sent over this photo from Knighton on Teme, of a Buzzard perched up in a damson tree in their orchard. Great photo Margaret!

             

                                                                   Buzzard on Damson Tree Photo : Margaret Bradley

21 February Geoff Wookey over at Boraston saw eleven Cormorant fly over his house this morning. Then later whilst walking the dog at Ashbed Woods, saw twenty birds circling.

And at Rochford, David & Shirley Hambelton sent in these pictures of frantic activity at their bird feeders. Amazing how once the Goldfinch know food is there, they arrive often in very good numbers.

                                               

                                                            Goldfinch on Niger Seed Photo : David & Shirley Hambelton

              

                                                                  Goldfinch & Blue Tit Photo : David & Shirley Hambelton

20 February Chris Peacock took a walk along through Little Hereford Church yard to Middleton and back via Easton Court, where he reports two smallish groups (perhaps 6 each) of Long tailed tits, 1 Buzzard on the ground in a field , 1 Greater Spotted Woodpecker (heard only), 1 Jay and 1 pair of Goosander.

And over on Oldwood Common Today, John Abbiss was up and about early with his camera to snap the early morning frost with these four pictures.

                

                

                           

               

                                                                       Photos from a frosty morning Photo : John Abbiss

19 February Number 3 in terms of the most numerous bird in the Teme Valley in 2012 as recorded by the Local Common Bird Survey. The Wood Pigeon is a very common sight in the area.

               

                                                                                    Wood Pigeon Photo : Danny Arnold

18 February Geoff Wookey had a melanic Pheasant in the garden today. Also, later talking to a farmer out towards Ashbed Woods at Boraston, apparently there have been up to forty Cormorant seen in the past in this area.

And a 'first' for the web site, and the Teme Valley (?). Mike Harley sent in these photos of a partially albino Lesser Redpoll as seen in his garden today. A fantastic local record Mike!

               

               

               

                                                                   Partially Albino Lesser Redpoll Photos : Mike Harley

And on the Highwood, Ken Willetts has photographed a bird he has been waiting for , for a long time. The Bullfinch. Great photos Ken.

                    

                                                                          Bullfinch - Male Photo : Ken Willetts

                

                                                                                 Bullfinch - Female Photo : Ken Willetts

17 February At Ashbed Woods, Geoff Wookey has seen yet more Cormorant at the pools there. He had a definite twelve today and saw a further six very soon after which he thinks may well be a total of eighteen. If so, this is by far the largest group know of in the Valley.

At Martley, Angie Hill had these flock of Fieldfare in a field adjacent to her

              

                                                                                 Fieldfare Photo : Angie Hill

And on the Highwood, Ken Willetts says he hasn't seen many of the Long Tailed Tits about this year.

                                   

                                                                             Long Tailed Tits Photo : Ken Willetts

16 February Its been a very slow start to the moth recording year this year, with many species failing as yet to make an appearance. This Small Brindled Beauty however appeared at Ken Willetts Moth trap on the Highwood last night. A fairly common moth for the Teme Valley at this time of year, but the first one of the year for Ken.

                

                                                                 Small Brindled Beauty Photo : Ken Willetts

15 February At last, after sixteen years, Danny Arnold has had the second ever Brambling at Birchfield (that's two in one week after sixteen years!) and this time managed to photograph it perched in a Yew Tree, with sunlight just catching it.

                

                

                                                                              Brambling Photos : Danny Arnold

14 February Ken Willetts sent in these three shots taken today, More fighting amongst the wild bird population on Highwood.

                 

                 

                

                                                       More Discord at the feeders Photos : Ken Willetts

13 February Nick & Sheila Benbow had a mixed flock of finches on their bird feeders today (sunflower hearts and peanuts) at Frith Common. Goldfinches, Chaffinches, 3 Siskin's, pair of Brambling & Greenfinch. They, like others in the Group, reported seeing a large flock of Lesser Redpoll's (40-50) passing through as well as a couple on the feeders later.

On the Highwood, Ken Willetts noticed a visitor sheltering in the gazebo in the garden. A young Muntjac Deer keeping out of the snow !

           

                                                       Muntjac Deer Photo : Ken Willetts

12 February Caroline Roseman saw a flock of 40+ Lesser Redpoll at her farm at Lower Rochford today.

Over at Boraston, Geoff Wookey had seven definite Cormorant at Ashbed Woods. He also says that minutes later he saw another three, but cant be sure that these weren't some of the first group. His thoughts though are that these were different birds making a possible ten birds in total. This would be by far the most number of this species ever recorded locally.

And on the Highwood, Ken Willetts took these brilliant photographs. One of a Lesser Redpoll on the niger feeder and a mid air scrap between a Goldfinch and male Siskin.

           

                                                 Goldfinch and Siskin squaring up for a fight Photo : Ken Willetts

            

                                                                         Lesser Redpoll Photo : Ken Willetts

11 February At Stoke Bliss, Maggie Kingston reports a Heron stalking her pool and a pair of Jays squawking in the trees locally.

At Little Hereford, Maiya Lyons reports 30 Gold Finches feeding on her river yard's moss seeds, just above the banks of the Teme. Maiya has also sighted a pair of Tree Creepers, 4 Greater Spotted Woodpeckers on the fat-ball feeders, and sizeable groups of Marsh Tits / Willow Tits. Plus 6 Robins, 2 Magpies and 2 pied Wagtails and Collard Doves feeding daily. She has also had flurries of Fieldfare in the apple orchard ..& a Sparrow Hawk a lurking..& a pair of Tawny Owls which can be heard talking to each other most evenings! Great records Maiya !!

Rob Humphreys also reports a flock of 30 - 40 Brambling in his area over the last week or so and he is now getting Siskin too on his bird feeders in the garden.

Felicity Beaumont in Tenbury has also had her first Brambling as has Danny Arnold at Upper Rochford. Danny also had the first Siskin of the year appear too!

At Abberley, Andrew Mawby reports six Lesser Redpoll, two Siskin and a Brambling at his feeders this afternoon.

And elsewhere is Abberley, Rosie Burton has also had three Lesser Redpoll on her bird feeders along with all the other 'usual' birds at this time of year.

And on the Highwood, Ken Willetts to is getting Siskin on his feeders.

               

                                                                            Siskin Photos : Ken Willetts

At Bockleton, Andrew Palmer was driving along and a Stoat appeared in the road in front of him. Not often recorded, but certainly present in the Valley. Another good record.

10 February At Knighton on Teme, Richard Pill has added Siskin to the garden bird list for this year. This photo shows a Male in full bright plumage. The female has a more striped and muted colouration.

           

                                                                              Siskin Photo : Richard Pill

9 February Over at Caynham David Faulkner reports the first Lesser Redpoll on his feeders too. There has clearly been a big influx locally of this species. David also reports good numbers of Goldfinch and a few Siskin present.

8 February A Couple of Photos from Richard Pill at Knighton on Teme. Lesser Redpoll seem to be making a good appearance in the Teme Valley this year. Here, they are feeding on Niger Seed underneath the bird feeders.

                 

                 

                                                                              Lesser Redpoll Photos : Richard Pill

7 February At Wolferlow Stuart Smith participated in the RSPB's big garden Bird Watch and had 21 species on his patch in the allotted hour of the survey. These included, a Buzzard, 26 Fieldfare, a Nuthatch, a Marsh Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker and, just at the end, his first male Brambling for the year.

6 February Keith Holbrow sent in these two photos of Lesser Redpoll which have been around his garden and under his feeders for the past couple of weeks. There certainly seems to have been an influx of this species over the last few days as several people are reporting seeing them along the Valley.

 

                                                                  Flock of Lesser Redpoll Photos : Keith Holbrow

And over at Martley, Angie Hill sent in these three photos of birds from her garden.

                             

                                                                                    Male Siskin Photo : Angie Hill

               

                                                                                        Wren Photo : Angie Hill

               

                                                                            Male Blackcap Photo : Angie Hill

5 February Brian Marsh has had Lesser Redpoll with four Siskin and around twenty Goldfinch on his feeders today

4 February Ken Willetts took this photograph of a sunset over his patch at Highwood. Ken used a technique called HDR which dramatically enhances the natural colours of the photograph. A stunning shot over the Valley.

             

                                                                    Sunset over the Highwood Photo : Ken Willetts

Meanwhile, on the Kyre Brook in Tenbury, John Abbiss saw a Dipper. One of the more elusive water birds in the area. .

3 February Chris Peacock took a walk along the River Teme at Little Hereford and noted : One Nuthatch, One Dipper, Ten Fieldfare, Forty Chaffinch, One Great Spotted Woodpecker, and a Mink. The Mink is an interesting record as there definitely appears to be a decline locally in the numbers reported....which is no bad thing.

1 February Geoff Wookey Spooked a Woodcock on a walk around Ashbed Woods today out at Boraston.

31 January David Faulkner over at Caynham reported a Red Kite over his garden today. He has also been having Brambling regularly in the garden.

28 January Chris Kemble emailed in these photos from the garden. The Moorhen appears every winter apparently!

                  

                                                                                       Jay Photos : Chris Kemble

                                  

                                                              Pheasant Roosting Photos : Chris Kemble

           

                                                                       Moorhen Photos : Chris Kemble

                   

                                                                  Moorhen, Chaffinch and Two Blackbirds Photos : Chris Kemble

27 January Wanda Arnold at Upper Rochford sent in this shot of a Blackbird taking what remaining berries it could find.

                                      

                                                              Blackbird Photos : Wanda Arnold

26 January Up on the Highwood, Ken Willetts took these three photos of birds in his garden. Its unusual to see a Treecreeper at a bird feeder, but clearly this bird is happy scavenging the left overs off the floor.

               

                                                                                  Treecreeper Photos : Ken Willetts

               

                                                                        Chaffinch Photos : Ken Willetts

                

                                                                                                    Dunnock Photos : Ken Willetts

25 January The snow is making for a lot of activity around the bird feeders locally. These two shots were sent in by Angie Hill from Martley. The Lesser Redpoll is a bird that prefers 'soft' seeds and as such, is attracted to niger seed.

                

                                                                                      Lesser Redpoll Photo : Angie Hill

                                     

                                                                                             Female Blackcap Photo : Angie Hill

24 January Whilst driving from Stanford Bridge up to the Upper Sapey Cross roads at lunch time today, Robin Hemming had a Hawfinch fly across the road in front of him. A great record for the area and proof they are about.

23 January A couple of snowy pictures from Danny Arnold

Birchfield in the snow Photos : Danny Arnold

22 January Angie Hill sent in these great bird images from her garden in the snow.

Robin Photo : Angie Hill

Pied Wagtail Photo : Angie Hill

Great Tit Photo : Angie Hill

Wood Pigeon Photo : Angie Hill

Starling Photo : Angie Hill

21 January Sallyann Williams is on a roll just now. A Reed Bunting has turned up in her Astley Cross Garden. Another good garden record!

Reed Bunting Photo: Sallyann Williams

Meanwhile, at his garden at Highwood, Ken Willetts had these three visitors today.

Redwing Photos : Ken Willetts

Great Spotted Woodpecker Photos : Ken Willetts

Blackbird Photos : Ken Willetts

And at Oldwood Common, John Abbiss sent an email over. He says that he has had up to 11 Blackbirds all at one time, feeding on the ground below feeding points in his garden, with a ratio of 8 cock birds to 3 hens. With this inclement weather he has also had goldfinches, greenfinches, linnets, pied wagtail, wren, jackdaw, wood pigeon, chaffinch, robins, house sparrows, starlings, blue tits, great tits,coal tits, longtailed tits, blackcap, brambling, and all at the same time. He says its been an amazing sight.

20 January Sallyann Williams one of our Group members from just outside the Teme Valley at Astley Cross, has just sent in this amazing garden record of a Hawfinch at her bird feeder. These photos were taken through the window. A truly amazing garden record. She also sent in this photo of a male Sparrowhawk which was ominously close by too. Hopefully the Hawfinch escaped unharmed!

Hawfinch at garden feeder Photos: Sallyann Williams

Male Sparrowhawk lurking Photos: Sallyann Williams

A rather festive photo sent in from Ken Willetts on the Highwood. A Fieldfare in a snow laden bush in the garden. There are still plenty of these birds around locally, being seen alone and with flocks of Redwing and Mistle Thrush.

Fieldfare Photos : Ken Willetts

19 January David Evans from Menith Wood reports a Lesser Redpoll on his bird feeders this week. Not too many of these being reported so far locally this year.

Meanwhile out at Caynham, David Faulkner reports more Chaffinches around than last year. A echo of other peoples observations too. David has also seen Blackcap and Brambling mixed in with them on occasions. He also notes a few Siskin mixed in with the Goldfinch flocks on his adjacent field. And down on his brook, he now has a pair of Dipper. A great garden record!.

18 January Chris & Jenny Rodgers emailed from Stoke Bliss to say that they had Brambling in the garden. Then they sent this photo over. They are very fortunate in that theirs, appears to be one site in the area where these birds turn up regularly, year on year. A Wonderful sight!

Brambling Photos: Chris Rodgers

At Highwood, Ken Willetts has also got in on the bird action with one of the continental Blackcaps on his bird feeder. This is a male. The female (not photographed yet) has a brown cap.

Blackcap Photos : Ken Willetts

At Clifton, Roger and Simone Arnold sent in this picture of birds in the snow in their garden. This also included a Pied Wagtail, which they say is quite a rarity on their patch. Nice record guys!

Blackbird, Chaffinch x 3 and Pied Wagtail Photo : Simone Arnold

17 January On the Buzzard field at Eastham Bridge, there were once again, around 50 Lapwing on the field, as noted by Danny Arnold today. This is presumably the same flock seen by Pete Stevens on the 11th Jan. This field must hold an incredible amount of worms! It is also likely to be a completely different flock to that seen by Lis two days ago, indicating that the Lapwing is apparently making a very welcome return to the Teme Valley.

Martyn Hemsley also emailed to say that he had a Cormorant on the River Teme just behind the fire station today and also a Goosander on the river just upstream of the bridge.

15 January Tonight, a call was received from Lis Rowe at Clifton. Whilst walking her dog she found a large dead Otter on the road verge, presumably killed by traffic. An unusual area for Otters, but Lis says there is a small pool and outlet off the pool which runs away under the road in the area. Presumably the Otter had come up from the River Teme? None the less, an interesting if upsetting report. Lis also reported having a flock of around 50 Lapwing on a field in Clifton over the last few days.

13 January Driving along from Upper Rochford to Hilltop, Danny Arnold had 20 Fieldfare in an Orchard, taking the remains left of the apples on the trees, and a Male Sparrowhawk.

Meantime at Ashbed Woods near Boraston, Geoff Wookey reported large flocks of Redwing and Fieldfare on the fields near to Ashbed Wood. He also saw a mixed flock containing at least 50 Redwing and about half that of Fieldfare on a separate field. There was also a flock of 200+ Chaffinch with a few Brambling mixed in with them in the woods and on the ponds were 24 Mallard, 2 Cormorant, and 30 Canada Geese.

12 January At Lower Rochford, Joe Roseman took this great photo of a Green Woodpecker taking ants off the lawn in his garden today.

Green Woodpecker Photo : Joe Roseman

11 January Down at Eastham Bridge, Pete Stevens had 50 Lapwing on the 'Buzzard Field'. There were also three Buzzards present too.

9 January At Clifton, in the middle of his patch, Roger Arnold has seen up to 40 Lapwing over the last few days in the fields. This afternoon he also 'spooked' 13 Snipe, some of which 'drummed' their way into the air and above him.

7 January Clearly a few Redwing still about. Danny Arnold had 14 fly over the House at Upper Rochford this morning.

5 January Out and about, Ken Willetts managed to take a photo of this Kestrel at Rochford Church today. Although there is a national decline with this species, the Teme Valley does seem to be holding its own, as they are often seen and reported.

Kestrel Photo : Ken Willetts

And for Danny Arnold at Birchfield, whilst all the rain has made it very wet under foot, the mud does show up tracks of passing animals very well. These are the prints of a Muntjac Deer.

Muntjac tracks in the mud Photo : Danny Arnold

The Grey Squirrel does occasionally produce off spring with quite red colouration. These are not however, in any way associated with Red Squirrels.

A 'red' Grey Squirrel Photo : Danny Arnold

4 January First moth record of the year for Geoff Wookey at Boraston. A Dark Chestnut came to the lighttrap.

1 January 2013 Happy New Year!!

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