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The Teme Valley Wildlife Group is a local group of wildlife enthusiasts, living and working within the Teme Valley (North & South) area, of Worcestershire, UK. This area covers the River Teme from Ludlow to Clifton and either side of the valley, the center point being Upper Rochford and a 10 mile radius thereof (roughly!). The Outer Area therefore Clockwise is Clee>Cleobury>Abberley>Martley>Bromyard>Leominster>Bircher>Ludlow>Clee...and hence therefore includes some small parts of the Worcestershire border areas of both Shropshire to the North-West and Herefordshire to the West and South-West.
This site has fast become the biological recording center for the Teme Valley, which by use of ‘eyes and ears’ of local people living and working in the area, has developed into a definitive reference catalogue, showing the diversity of species we have present in our area.
We actively encourage local participation within the Group and on this web site. We want to know what you are seeing and hearing on the wildlife front in our area and welcome any comments, information or photographs you take, from locals and visitors alike.
We will endeavour to update this site at least weekly when ever possible.
All photos on this site are by Danny Arnold (DMA) unless otherwise credited. All photos remain copyright of the photographer.
No re-publication without express permission. Web masters may freely link to this site.
The Teme Valley Wildlife Group holds a Monthly Meeting on the second Thursday of the Month. The Venue is Rochford Village Hall between 7:30 and 9:30 pm. Grid Ref: SO 6338 6770 or Google Earth ....52.18'22.44 N 2.32'18.33 W.
Want directions with a map?..click here. Post Code : WR15 8SW
Everybody is most welcome to indoor meetings. £2 on the door. Membership is optional, £2 per annum
2014 Monthly Speakers Calendar
|2014||Tim Haselden||Water Voles - A reintroduction project|
|2014||Caroline Corsie||Wildlife friendly farming|
|2014||Harry Green & James Hitchcock||The ecology of the Lime tree ......... (Also the AGM)|
|2014||Dr Mark Robinson||Putting in place a canal side reedbed|
|2014||Rebecca Lashley||The Worcs Orchards Project|
|2014||Dr Pete Boardman||Craneflies|
|2014||OUTDOOR EVENT||Flowers, Birds, Bats and Moths evening at Eastham|
|September||11th||2014||Dr Joy Rooney||
The ecology of Hartlebury Common - An inland sand dune
|November||13th||2014||Will Watson||Ecology of the River Teme (To be confirmed)|
2014 Monthly Nature Walk Calendar
|No Walk Planned|
|No Walk Planned|
|No Walk Planned|
|Shakenhurst/Neen Sollars ‘Live and let walk’|
|God's Acre Walk - Hope Bagot|
|Bewdley Meadows WWT reserve (A new WWT reserve)|
|Abberley Hill - Circular Walk|
|Far Forest / Wyre Forest Walk|
|To be confirmed|
|No Walk Planned|
|No Walk Planned|
|No Walk Planned|
Other Upcoming TVWG Events in 2014
NEW !!........We are now on Flickr:
If you want to post your own wildlife images taken in the TEME VALLEY use this link :
For members of the Teme Valley Wildlife Group who want to post wildlife pictures you've taken OUTSIDE OF THE TEME VALLEY i.e. anywhere else in the world, then you can use this link : http://www.flickr.com/groups/tvwg/
12 April At Clifton on Teme, Roger Arnold spooked a Snipe out of some cover on his walk around his patch. He also reports his first Swallow of the year too. Two Red Kites have also been spotted in the area.
Meanwhile over at Boraston, Geoff Wookey had his light trap out last night an lured in yet another Ypsolopha mucronella, the fifth record for Shropshire by our reckoning. Geoff also recorded this very early Brimstone Moth (not to be confused with the Brimstone Butterfly) and a Powdered Quaker, which was new for his garden moth list. He also sent across this image of a couple of Blackbird fledglings. They got up and went the following day!
451 Ypsolopha mucronella Photo: Geoff Wookey
Brimstone Moth Photo: Geoff Wookey
Powdered Quaker Photo: Geoff Wookey
Fledgling Blackbirds Photo: Geoff Wookey
11 April In the garden today, Pete Thorp had a Beefly on the flowers. First he's seen he said. And over at Lower Frith Common, Rob Humphreys had his first Swallows back.
10 April Bettering yesterdays sighting, Pete Stevens had Two Red Kite over his house at Lower Frith today, drifting upstream towards Eastham and Rochford.
9 April Annabel Elliott emailed to say that she has had her first sighting of a Swallow at her house at Hanley Childe today, flying into the outbuildings checking out last year's nest sites - 6 days earlier than last year.
Pete Stevens had a Red Kite drifting over the house at Lower Frith Common today, in both directions a couple of hours apart.
And on the Highwood, Ken Willetts light trap trapped this Lunar Marbled Brown Moth last night. Rather early for this species but always nice to see. And less nice to see, he also photographed one of many rabbits which continually attack his veg patch!
Rabbit attack! Photo: Ken Willetts
Lunar Marbled Brown Photo: Ken Willetts
8 April Two more Red Kite sightings today. One on the A44 on the Worcs / Herefordshire border spotted by Brenda Allan and the other by Janice Lucas flying over a field adjacent to her house at Eastham.
7 April Red Kite sightings are coming in thick and fast now. At Knighton on Teme, Margaret Bradley had Two Reds Kite over one of her fields today. Meanwhile at Lower Rochford, Sandra Willmott also had a Red Kite over Rochford Church today.
Ken Willetts on the Highwood trapped and recorded this Purple Thorn moth over night.
Purple Thorn Photo: Ken Willetts
And John Abbiss at Oldwood Common John had a large flock of Starlings alight in a tree across the road temporarily. Just enough time to get a photo. John was also clearing some weed out of his garden pool today and found an array of water bourne insects, including this dragonfly nymph and caddis grub house made of vegetation stems, amongst the vegetation. As John says, it is important not to move such vegetation away from a pool when clearing it out. By leaving it on the side for a couple of days, it allows the water bourne invertebrates to crawl back into the water unharmed. .
Starlings Photo: John Abbiss
Caddis fly larvae Photo: John Abbiss
Dragonfly nymph Photo: John Abbiss
6 April At Menith Wood, Phil Morgan was having a wildlife survey done on his patch. Amongst other things, this Yellow Necked Mouse turned up.
Yellow necked Mouse Photo: Phil Morgan
4 April Elissa Hughes reports two Red Kite sightings recently over Pitlands farm at Clifton (15th March & 2nd April) and over Park Lane, Sapey Common on the 16th March. Elissa says that geographically, these two sites are very close together, so it could well be the same bird.
3 April At Abberley, Wilfred Bennett had a Red Kite drift over today. At Caynham, David Faulkner's Lesser Redpoll were back and this time, he managed to get a photo. Well done David. And at Highwood, Ken Willetts trapped and recorded this relatively scarce macro moth the Lead Coloured Drab.
Lesser Redpoll Photo: David Faulkner
The Lead Coloured Drab Photo: Ken Willetts
2 April More busy moth traps on either side of the Valley last night. Geoff Wookey at Boraston recorded several species including this 451 Ypsolopha mucronella. Geoff already has the second and third records for Shropshire for this species and this specimen is the fourth record for the County. Interestingly, Geoff also says that the first record was as a larvae found at Stokesay, so in fact, Geoff has had all three adult moths for this species recorded in Shropshire. Geoff also took last night, Brindled Beauty and a Streamer, so called because of its streamer type wing markings.
451 Ypsolopha mucronella Photo: Geoff Wookey
Brindled Beauty Photo: Geoff Wookey
Streamer Moth Photo: Geoff Wookey
On the other side of the Valley, Ken Willetts took these two species.
The Herald Moth Photo: Ken Willetts
663 Diurnea fagella Photo: Ken Willetts
1 April David Faulkner over at Caynham reports a pair of Bullfinch in the garden. The first time in several years he says. David also had a male Lesser Redpoll in full breeding plumage and to top the day off, a Red Kite flew over....twice! Great days birding in the back garden! And whilst on Red Kite's, Chris Mussell had a Red Kite over his garden today too at Stanford Bridge. This bird was flying off towards Sapey Common / Clifton hotly pursued by two Jackdaws.
31 March Geoff Wookey and Ken Willetts moth traps were busy overnight. Ken took this tiny micro moth Mompha substrigella whilst Geoff took his first Pug moth of the year. Fortunately it was about the easiest of this group to identify, a Double Striped Pug.
Mompha substrigella Photo: Ken Willetts
Double Striped Pug Photo: Geoff Wookey
Meanwhile at Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman also had her camera out and took some lovely images of wildlife on her patch.
Woodpecker Nest?? Photo: Caroline Roseman
Baren Strawberry Photo: Caroline Roseman
March Cowslip Photo: Caroline Roseman
Greater Stichwort Photo: Caroline Roseman
Wood anemone Photo: Caroline Roseman
30 March Geoff Wookey over at Boraston had a female Goshawk flying low over the fields and being pursued by a couple of Crows adjacent to Ashbed Woods today. A first for Geoff's patch.
28 March Jeremy Hughes reports seeing a Red Kite at Stockton Today. Whilst up at Clifton - on - Teme , Lynda Emery managed to get this great photo of a Lesser Redpoll in the garden today. Lyn says its the first one she's had in the garden, so even better she got the photo too. Great record Lyn.
Lesser Redpoll Photo: Lynda Emery
27 March Vicki Stevens saw a Red Kite low over Woodston flying to wards Eardiston at mid-day today.
25 March Sandra Morton sent over an email saying that she had a Merlin sighting on her farm today. This is a great record for this relatively scarce raptor in the Teme Valley.
On the Highwood, Ken Willetts managed to photograph a Red Kite that was flying low over his house in the morning drizzle. Interestingly, this bird had wing tags. On the Left wing was a black tag number 08 and on the Right wing was a yellow tag 08. The colour coding tells us that this is a Welsh bird (Black left wing tag) and was tagged as a juvenile in 2013 (Yellow right wing tag) - i.e. is a 1 year old this year. There was a yellow tag also used in 2004, but local Red Kite expert Leo Smith confirms this is a bird from last year based on colouring and degree of wing fork. For more info on the tagging code system used to determine where these birds are from and how old they are, follow this link http://www.gigrin.co.uk/redkitetags-explained.php
Wing Tagged Red Kite Photos: Ken Willetts
24 March Chris & Jenny Rogers report seeing a Red Kite on the Tenbury / Bromyard road today. Meanwhile, Tim Studer over at Martley reports the first Swallows of the year back in the area. He had three over his house this morning. He says that these are about three weeks earlier than usual. Tim also came across this Dark edged bee fly in the garden at the weekend. There are several species of Bee-fly in the UK, of which, this is the largest and most common.
Dark edged Bee-fly Photo: Tim Studer
23 March More evidence that rare moths do extremely well in the Teme Valley habitats. This White Marked Moth came to Ken Willetts light trap over night.
White Marked Moth Photo: Ken Willetts
22 March At Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold came across this Nuthatch making a nest in an old Woodpecker hole in an Ash tree. Nuthatch will typically use old holes, which if too big for their needs, they will reduce the opening size by partially blocking up the hole with mud. Hence what this bird was doing with a beak full of mud.
Nuthatch Photo: Danny Arnold
Also at Upper Rochford, Danny came across this rather tattered Small Tortoiseshell butterfly making the most of the spring sunshine today. This butterfly, given its condition, had almost certainly over wintered as an adult.
Small Tortoiseshell Photo: Danny Arnold
21 March At the Highwood / Eastham junction on the lower road, Jeremy Hughes reports seeing a Red Kite over the field today. This is only the second record this year in the Valley.
Another one of the very small micro moths that can be found at this time of year. This Agonopterix arenella came to light for Ken Willetts last night.
Agonopterix arenella Photo: Ken Willetts
20 March Up on the Highwood, Ken Willetts trap was again buzzing over night. Ken sent in this image of the Water Carpet moth, the first that's been recorded this year in the Teme Valley. Some years this moth appears in good numbers. Other years, less so. It'll be interesting to see how it fairs in 2014. The larvae feed on bedstraws. The adult is found in damp woodland and scrub.
Water Carpet Moth Photo: Ken Willetts
Early Thorn Photo: Ken Willetts
19 March It just goes to show the benefit of persistent recording and just how special the Teme Valley is a moth habitat in Worcs. Last night, Ken Willetts got in on the action recording another Caloptilia falconipennella, this very rare Worcs moth, just days after Danny Arnold recorded it a little further along the Valley.
289 Caloptilia falconipennella Photo: Ken Willetts
And another rare moth came to Danny Arnold's light trap at Upper Rochford last night. This time a larger macro moth, a charcoal looking Tawny Pinion. There are currently only 21 previous records for this species in the whole of Worcs., 6 of which have come to Danny's light traps in the Teme Valley.
Tawny Pinion Photo: Danny Arnold
18 March At Stoke Bliss, Chris & Jenny Rogers are also reporting the presence of Brimstone Butterflies in their garden, along with Small Tortoiseshells. They also report plenty of Newt activity going on in their ponds.
In the dingle at Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold heard his first Chiffchaff of the year this morning. Spring is Sprung!
Wanda Arnold reports seeing a Red Kite very close to the road by the Church on the bank at Stanford bridge today. This is the first reported Red Kite sighting of the year in the Teme Valley.
At Highwood last night, Ken Willetts trapped this Mottled Grey moth. Danny Arnold also trapped this species at Upper Rochford last night, as indeed did Geoff Wookey at Boraston, indicating that there may have been a fresh emergence over the last few days. There are currently around ten records for this species from the Teme Valley, with most other records coming from around the Malvern area and within the Wyre Forest. So this species is quite localised. As a species, the Mottled Grey prefers damp woodland and heathland. The larvae feed on bedstraws.
Mottled Grey Photo: Ken Willetts
Another moth whose larvae feed on Bedstraws (and Groundsel in this case) is the Red Chestnut moth. This is a widespread moth in the county of Worcs, but it is worth noting that around 25% of all county records for this species comes from the Teme Valley. This individual was recorded last night by Ken and Geoff in their respective locations.
Red Chestnut Photo: Ken Willetts
Meantime, a little lower down the slope of the valley, Danny Arnold also trapped and recorded the first White Marked moth of the year. This is a very interesting species, in so far as very little is known about its life cycle. It appears to prefer damp woodland but has yet to be found as larvae in the wild. The Teme Valley is responsible for over 70% of all White Marked records in Worcs, making it an otherwise quite scarce species in the county.
White Marked Moth Photo: Danny Arnold
17 March Having recorded only the fourth record for the Teme Valley of the Yellow Horned Moth a few days ago (see below), along comes the fifth record, this time to Geoff Wookey's light trap at Boraston.
Yellow Horned Moth Photo: Geoff Wookey
At Lower Frith, having spent last weekend in the garden sunshine, Pete Stevens reports seeing Brimstone, Comma, Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies in the garden.
16 March One of the rarest moths in Worcs, with only a handful of records, the Teme Valley is rapidly becoming the place to record this tiny Caloptilia moth. This is Caloptilia falconipennella, the larvae of which feed primarily on Alder. This was trapped to light at Upper Rochford last night, by Danny Arnold.
289 Caloptilia falconipennella Photo: Danny Arnold
At the light trap on the Highwood, Ken Willetts sent in these two images of moths coming in over night. The Small Quaker is quite a common moth locally. The micro moth Acleris cristana, less so. One of the distinguishing features of this moth, from other similar moths, is the tuft of scales, clearly seen on Kens image.
Small Quaker Photo: Ken Willetts
1054 Acleris cristana Photo: Ken Willetts
15 March The Upper Rochford light trap at Danny Arnold's house produced this small, Diurnea fagella moth. This moth is quite widespread in some woodland, although not too many records turn up in the Teme Valley. The females of this species are virtually wingless and therefore flightless.
Diurnea fagella Photo: Danny Arnold
14 March Always nice to see at a light trap, the Pale Pinion moth. The larvae feed on Sallow and Docks. This specimen fell to Danny Arnold's light trap.
Pale Pinion Photo: Danny Arnold
12 March Taking advantage of the better weather, Geoff Wookey got in on the action last night by putting his light trap out. He recorded his biggest haul of moths this year with a total of 49 moths in the trap last night. He had just 5 species though. There were good numbers of Common Quaker, Small Quaker and Hebrew Character also had one each of March Moth and Shoulder Stripe.
Meantime at Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman came across this Great Crested Newt, another species that is generally rare, but quite widespread in the Teme Valley.
Great Creasted Newt Photo: Caroline Roseman
11 March We are doing well for over winterinmg moths this year. Another Herald moth has come out of its winter tauper and was found by Caroline Roseman.
Herald Moth Photo: Caroline Roseman
And at Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold trapped and recorded this Yellow Horned Moth over night. This is only the fourth record for the Teme Valley and is not usually found very far from old and established Woodland. It's name comes about from the fact that the males (this is a female) have quite distinctive yellow antennae.
Yellow Horned Moth Photo: Danny Arnold
At Stanford Bridge today, Teresa Dongworth spotted and unusual Pheasant in a field. Teresa says that she was not sure what it was to start with, but in the end decided it was definitely a completely white pheasant. Such birds are recorded, though this is the first time one has been recorded in the Teme Valley.
10 March Chris Peacock dropped a note in to say that he's got Long Tailed Tits nesting in a hedge and this morning, had an early Bat flying around the house at dawn, presumably enticed out by the warmer weather. Chris also says he's now getting a pair of Greenfinch regularly in the garden.
Over at Martley, Tim Studer had 4 Brimstone butterflies, 3 Comma, 2 Tortoiseshell and a Peacock out in the garden yesterday.
And Stuart Smith also saw a Brimstone Butterfly, at Ham Bridge yesterday. Brimstone butterflies seem to be doing well this year.
Eric Davies took a walk in the sunshine up on the Clee Hill yesterday. As well as the Skylark, which is always nice to see, Eric came across this pool that was 'rippling'. On closer inspection, he found it full of frogs and frog spawn.
Skylark Photo: Eric Davies
Pool on the Clee Photo: Eric Davies
Frogs Photo: Eric Davies
Frogs 1 Photo: Eric Davies
Frogs 2 Photo: Eric Davies
....And here are some more images of spring moths coming into Ken Willetts light trap over night.
Early Grey Photo: Ken Willetts
Engrailed Photo: Ken Willetts
Grey Shoulder Knot Photo: Ken Willetts
9 March The Victorian entomologists were responsible for most of the vernacular or common names given to our moths. Very often, the name reflected something to do with the moth itself. This is a good example, the Twin Spotted Quaker recorded overnight by Ken Willetts.
Twin Spotted Quaker Photo: Ken Willetts
And in Danny Arnold's light trap at Upper Rochford, this tiny green Acleris literana moth came in to light over night. This moth that is associated with Oak, does very well in the Teme Valley, though is less widespread elsewhere in Worcs.
1061 Acleris literana Photo : Danny Arnold
8 March Moths are coming in to the light traps all round the valley now that the weather has improved and got a little warmer.
A nice little micro moth came into Danny Arnold's light trap last night Agonopterix alstromeriana. This is a species that first appears in August typically and over winters as an adult going through to about April. The larvae feed on Hemlock.
695 Agonopterix alstromeriana Photo : Danny Arnold
7 March On the Highwood, Ken Willetts took this harbinger of Spring, the Clouded Drab moth. One of the more common moths at this time of year, but very variable in colour, from this grey form, to an almost chestnut red colour.
Clouded Drab Photo: Ken Willetts
Over at Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman spotted this Peacock butterfly in the garden today. Almost certainly this insect has over wintered somewhere an emerged today in the warm sunshine. Caroline also spotted this curious little moth in the house today. It is a Twenty Plume moth and only a few millimeters across. This is one of a few moths that can appear pretty much at any time of year.
Twenty Plume Moth Photo: Caroline Roseman
Peacock Butterfly Photo: Caroline Roseman
6 March At Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold trapped this Shoulder Stripe moth in his light trap over night. Some years this moth is hardly seen. This year it appears to be doing quite well, as there have been several records this year.
Shoulder Stripe Photo: Danny Arnold
3 March Steve Whitehouse got in touch to say that there had been six Crossbill seen in some larches SW of Stanford Bridge on the B4203 today.
2 March David Norsworthy sent in this wonderful photo of seven over wintering Herald Moths and a lone Red Admiral. He was moving some boxes in a barn and thought at first they were dead leaves. Herald moths are often one of the last macros to be seen in the year and having over wintered are usually one of the first to be seen in the Spring.
Herald Moths Photo: David Norsworthy
On the Highwood, Ken Willetts had his light trap on last night a recorded rather appropriately this freshly emerged March Moth. Ken also took the two forms of the Satellite Moth, one with white markings the other with Orange. These two photographs show a good comparison.
March Moth Photo: Ken Willetts
Two forms of the Satellite Moth Photo: Ken Willetts
On Oldwood Common, John Abbiss had five Bewick Swans flying over in an Easterly direction.
1 March Over at Stoke Bliss, Chris & Jenny Rogers have had a Bullfinch in the garden for the first time in many years they said. They have also had a pair of Muntjac wandering over the lawns.
Meantime in Tenbury, David Patrick took this shot of a Lesser Redpoll feeding on niger seeds with a Goldfinch. Not too many Lesser Redpoll have been reported this year, so a nice record.
Lesser Redpoll & Goldfinch Photo: David Patrick
28 February At Ashbed Woods, Geoff Wookey spotted a pair of Goosander. And at home, a male Siskin has joined the female he had a few days ago.
27 February On the High Wood, Ken Willetts took advantage of some sunshine today to take these images of wildlife in the garden.
Beetle Photo: Ken Willetts
Dunnock Photo: Ken Willetts
Bullfinch Photo: Ken Willetts
Robin Photo: Ken Willetts
26 February A possible Pine Marten sighting near Stanford Bridge was reported today. The recorder was confident in her identification in the Bitch Berrow area.
25 February Whilst out walking the dog at Ashbed Woods today, Geoff Wookey sent up a Woodcock from the undergrowth.
The better weather prompted Ken Willetts to get out with his camera again today, resulting in these two close up photos of two of our less common garden visitors. The Long Tailed Tit and a female Siskin.
Long Tailed Tit Photo: Ken Willetts
female Siskin Photo: Ken Willetts
At Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman noticed at least two bee species feeding on the early nectar of the crocus's in the garden.
Bees feeding on crocus nectar Photos: Caroline Roseman
24 February At Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman took advantage of the better weather today and took these spring photos. Great to see the deer and the bottom of the field too!
Deer Photo: Caroline Roseman
Crocus, Daffodils & Snowdrops Photo: Caroline Roseman
Blackthorn flowering Photo: Caroline Roseman
Over at Boraston, Geoff Wookey had a female Siskin on the garden feeders this morning and whilst out walking the dogs at Ashbed Woods, came across a pair of Kestrel. A great record considering they are a species in decline. Meantime, on the Highwood, another first record for the year for Ken Willetts This time the Common Quaker Moth. This species can very often be found around sallows and willows where they feed on nectar from early flowers.
Common Quaker Photo: Ken Willetts
22 February Ken Willetts light trap didn't produce any moths last night, but this drowsy wasp did turn up. Wasps can be attracted to light traps in large numbers some nights, so the traps are always opened with some caution!
Wasp Close-up Photo: Ken Willetts
21 February And a few more moths from Ken Willetts light trap. These two moths are very common species here in the Teme Valley, but the Clouded Drab is the first reported record of 2014 for this species in the area.
Hebrew Character Photo: Ken Willetts
Clouded Drab Photo: Ken Willetts
20 February Ken Willetts light trap has finally started to produce some moths. These are the first of two new species for the year, into his light trap this year. The Pale Brindled Beauty and Dotted Border moths. Both relatively common at this time of the year in the Teme Valley. They could easily turn up at a porch light left on over night.
Dotted Border Photo: Ken Willetts
Pale Brindled Beauty Photo: Ken Willetts
18 February At Boraston, Geoff Wookey had 6 Lesser Redpoll on the garden feeders this morning and a Reed Bunting on the hedge on the walk up to Ashbed Woods. Geoff says there is about 17 acres of unharvested Oilseed Rape on the walk up to the woods and there are massive flocks of Linnet, Chaffinch and Greenfinch, also large numbers of Goldfinch. There are also a number of Bullfinch making use of the crop and a Sparrowhawk making regular forays.
17 February On the Highwood, Ken Willetts took advantage of the better weather and took this stunning image of the blue skies around today. He also caught this Wood Pigeon unaware too.
Blue Skies Photo: Ken Willetts
Wood pigeon Photo: Ken Willetts
16 February At Upper Rochford, the moth light traps have been running, but the evenings have been so cold, there have been no moths flying. The Last couple of night however, have been a few degrees warmer and the first Oak Beauty moth of the year turned up for Danny Arnold.
Oak Beauty Photo: Danny Arnold
12 February At Boraston, Geoff Wookey had his first Brambling of the year. This is also the first one reported in the area this year.
11 February Over at Oldwood Common, John Abbiss has been looking at what's about at this time of year. Firstly he noted that there was a well worn track through the bracken, which he reckons from the foot print in the mud is probably made by a badger.
Badger track Photo: John Abbiss
Badger Print Photo: John Abbiss
He also noted some early flowers including these orange seeds spewing from some pods on the ground and a host of Snowdrops.
Seed pods splitting Photo: John Abbiss
Snowdrops Photo: John Abbiss
Some Bracket fungi was showing well on some dead wood and on one of the trees, he caught sight of this Treecreeper.
Treecreeper Photo: John Abbiss
Bracket Fungi Photo: John Abbiss
Bracket Fungi Photo: John Abbiss
10 February Out and about, Ken Willetts snapped this close up of a Pheasant, and down at Eastham Bridge, he took a couple of photo's from above the bridge, showing how very high the water level currently is on the River Teme.
Pheasant Photo: Ken Willetts
Eastham Bridge up stream of the bridge 1 Photo: Ken Willetts
Eastham Bridge up stream of the bridge 2 Photo: Ken Willetts
7 February ....And another butterfly emergence in Janice's utility room. This time a Small Tortoiseshell made a quick exit through the door.
6 February Over at Eastham, Janice Lucas dropped an email to say that she had seen her first butterfly of the year, which had emerged in her utility room. A Small White which obviously thought it was Spring!
3 February Oohh....I think it might rain today. This photo taken at Upper Rochford as dawn was breaking this morning.
Red sky in the morning.... Photo: Danny Arnold
1 February At Boraston, Rachel Packard was delighted to see three Otters moving up the brook, all witnessed from her lounge window.
27 January Another photo from up on the Highwood. Ken Willetts says that this is a bird he always has trouble photographing as they are so skittish, you just cant get close. This is a nice image of a Fieldfare in his orchard though.
Fieldfare Photo: Ken Willetts
24 January Up on the Highwood, Ken Willetts is happy as he's had his first moth in the light trap for 2014. This Chestnut moth came in last night. A typical winter / early spring species. The larvae feed on a range of trees as a food plant including Birch and Oak. Hence why it is such a relatively common species in the Teme Valley.
The Chestnut Photo: Ken Willetts
23 January Up at Clifton on Teme, Simone Arnold noticed this jelly like mass growing on some wood in the garden. This is Yellow Brain Fungus, a fungi that can be found at most times of the year, though the fruiting body which this is, prefers late autumn. Clearly the mild weather has tricked it into thinking it still is autumn!
Yellow Brain Fungus Photo: Simone Arnold
Danny Arnold confirmed the presence of an Otter using a camera trap set up over night. It was only a tantalising glimpse as it set off the unit, but enough to confirm it wasn't mink. The Otter video footage can be seen by clicking this link. Today, Danny had two Goosander on one of the pools and a Kingfisher. Along with this quick photo taken of a Long Tailed Tit which was one of several working there way through the tree canopy over head. A Mistle Thrush was also busy sunning itself on top of a conifer.
Long Tailed Tit Photo: Danny Arnold
Mistle Thrush Photo: Danny Arnold
Meanwhile, Ken Willetts made the most of the sunshine this morning and captured this very arty photo of some catkins. Has anybody else ever noticed that the catkins start out with a tiny pink flower?
Catkins Photo: Ken Willetts
22 January Danny Arnold had a Goldcrest in the Scott's Pines this afternoon and down by the pool, was signs of an Otter's presence. Not that unusual, as when the river is in flood, they move up the dingles to cleaner water where they can feed. In the moth traps over night, Danny also trapped three of this tiny species, Yposolopha ustella. One of the few micro moths that venture out at this time of year. The larvae feed on Oak.
461 Ypsolopha ustella Photo: Danny Arnold
17 January All this talk about Bullfinches last week prompted Vicki Stevens to email saying that she had her first pair of Bullfinch of the year in the garden today. Likewise, Ken Willetts also dropped a line in saying that he was getting three pairs of Bullfinch regularly in and around his feeders. Ken also sent in this fantastic close up picture of a Great Spotted Woodpecker he has coming to his feeders. What a fantastic image!
Great Spotted Woodpecker Photo: Ken Willetts
16 January At Lower Rochford , Caroline Roseman reports a Tawny Owl on her drive way a few days ago and she sent in this image of newly emerging Snowdrops. Beautiful!
Snowdrops Photo: Caroline Roseman
Whilst at Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold had this tiny micro moth come into the light trap last night. The larvae of this moth Acleris sparsana feed on Beech and Sycamore and as there are not particularly common species of tree in the Teme Valley, this moth is not often recorded. It is also one of only a very few moths that can be found flying at this time of year.
1041 Acleris sparsana Photo: Danny Arnold
Also in the moth trap over night came this relatively large beetle, measuring 32mm. Unusual to get beetles in the moth trap at this time of year.
Beetle Photo: Danny Arnold
15 January John Abbiss followed up on his Pied Wagtail observation yesterday and noted that this dung fly (?) landed on his window. He wonders if the Pied WAgtails are after these, as there are very few other insects around at the moment.
Dung fly(?) Photo: John Abbiss
14 January On Oldwood Common, John Abbiss says there are a small flock of sheep which have been penned in to graze. This has prompted a flock of 15 or so Pied Wagtails to the area, which have been there a few days now, interested in what the sheep are churning up. Worth a visit.
13 January Traveling down through Upper Rochford this morning, Danny Arnold had a small flock of around 50 Lesser Black-backed gulls in a field. Unusual to see them this far in land.
10 January The temperature over night was cool, (a low of 3C) with a slight ground frost this morning and whilst Ken Willetts didn't record any moths in his moth trap over night, he sent in this stunning image of a Goldfinch he took yesterday. Just along the ridge from Ken, Danny Arnold managed just a single moth record over night, the first Chestnut moth of the year.
Goldfinch Photo: Ken Willetts
9 January On the Highwood, Ken Willetts had the first Siskin of the year in his garden today. And at Abberley, Diana Parkin had 9 Goldfinch, 2 Siskin, 5 chaffinch and 1 Lesser Redpoll in the garden today.
8 January Following the post on the 6th January about the Bullfinches, Danny Arnold had three males in one tree on his patch today. Maybe there are three pairs about, not just two? And on the other side of the river at Frith Common, Mike Harley had two pairs in his garden today also. It would be great if they are making a come back!
7 January There are not too many micro moths that fly at this time of year. This tiny moth measuring only a few millimeters in length will have over wintered from around September last year and would normally be seen flying as the temperature warms up in April and May. But last night was fairly mild (a low of 7C) which allowed this tiny Acleris literana to venture out and into the light traps of Danny Arnold. The larvae of this moth feed on Oak, which of course is plentiful in the Teme Valley.
1061 Acleris literana Photo: Danny Arnold
6 January Danny Arnold had four Bullfinch on his patch at Upper Rochford today.
5 January And over at Knighton on Teme, Richard Pill thought his bird feeder was in a bit of a dilapidated state, so he made a new one out of a piece of Scaffold Pole and some angle iron he had lying about. Pretty substantial Richard!. That should last a life time! Send us some photos of your home made feeders!!
Home made Bird Feeder Photo: Richard Pill
4 January First out of the blocks this year is Ken Willetts on the Highwood who sent in this photo of a Mistle Thrush perched in an apple tree in his orchard. This shot clearly shows the white edges to the tail feathers which is diagnostic for Mistle Thrush. The Song Thrush does not have these white edges.
Mistle Thrush Photo: Ken Willetts
1st January 2014 A very Happy New Year to all our members, contributors and visitors.
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