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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
2013 Monthly Speakers Calendar
|2013||Andrew Mawby||The secret life of the Dipper|
|2013||Mike Averill||Dragonflies of Worcestershire|
|2013||Harry Green||The ecology of Ant Hills ......... (Also the AGM)|
|2013||Glynn Barrett||Clee Hill & Novers Wood|
|2013||Janet Maxwell-Stewart||Plantlife : Speaking up for wild plants|
|2013||Stuart Edmunds||The Shropshire Pine Martens|
|2013||James Hitchcock||Reserves on our doorstep - Pennels Bank Wood & Hanley Dingle|
|September||12th||2013||Rachel Hufton||To be confirmed....|
|November||14th||2013||John Robinson||Birds of the Wyre|
2013 Monthly Nature Walk Calendar
|No Walk Planned|
|No Walk Planned|
|Oldwood Common taking in Berrington Mill|
|Neen Solars along the River Rea|
|Clee Hill/Nordy Bank|
Risbury Camp or Cleobury Mortimer and a return to the River Rea
|No Walk Planned|
|No Walk Planned|
Other Upcoming TVWG Events in 2013
|April||2013||Orchard Survey||Hunt for the Mistletoe Marble Moth in a local Apple Orchard|
|Apr -> Sept||TBC||2013||1st Friday of the Month||Monthly Moth trapping night|
|Apr -> Sept||TBC||2013||Dormouse Survey||Assist reserve manager with evaluating dormouse boxes|
|June||26th||2013||Evening Walk||At Birchfield Meet 7:30pm|
|September ->||TBC||2013||Dormouse - Nut Hunt||Looking for signs of Dormice in local woods|
|October||TBC||2013||Annual fundraising evening||
Wildlife & Wines of Worcs & the three counties
Knighton on Teme Parish Rooms 7:30pm
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/
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!
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 Polecat 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.
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!
27 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 Swifts skimming 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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