Monday 21st April 2014:
It was yet another mild sunny day so I decided to undertake a walk around the Heath Lane stretch of the patch to record the inverts. It proved to be a productive move as I recorded 5 Common Footman moth larvae and 1 Scarce Footman larva on the fence posts along the lane. The caterpillars of both of these species feed on lichens, of which there are plenty on the fence posts and dead wood along Heath Lane.
Common Footman (Eilema lurideola) larva
Scarce Footman (Eilema complana) larva
Also of great interest was discovering a Forest Bug nymph (a species of shield bug that I hadn't previously recorded on patch). Another invert goody came in the form of a 24-spot Ladybird. This tiny little ladybird actually has fine hairs on it's wing cases. Other species of Ladybird recorded along the lane today were 2-spot, 7-spot and Harlequin.
24-spot Ladybird (Subcoccinella 24-punctata)
Wednesday 23rd April 2014:
This morning I undertook a quick whistle-stop of Shenstone before heading off to do my voluntary work at the Worcestershire Biological Records Centre. This turned out to be a good call a I recorded a fall of 12 Northern Wheatears, all on the south side of the patch.
On the plough at Witch Lane there were 6♂ and 2♀ Wheatears present on the fresh plough and at Curslow Lane there were a further 3♂ & 1♀ Wheatears, also on the plough. This was to be the biggest fall of Wheatear on the patch this year in what had been otherwise a very poor Spring migration.
Also of note at Curslow Lane on the upper ploughed field were 2♂ Yellow Wagtails, 1♂ White Wagtail and 3 Pied Wagtails.
Common Whitethroats were now arriving back on patch with singing males noted at Stanklyn Lane, Heath Lane and Butts Lane.
Thursday 24th April 2014:
6 Northern Wheatears were still present on the freshly ploughed field at Witch Lane this morning.
Saturday 26th April 2014:
I only had time for a quick scoot around today but was really pleased to see 7 Corn Buntings at the Podmore end of Curslow Lane. A ♂ Corn Bunting was up singing on the wires and 6 others were perched nearby on the hedgerow below. Two Yellowhammers were also noted here.
Just down the road, in the potato field along Ryelands Lane, there were 2 Yellow Wagtails and 2 Pied Wagtails present.
At Hartlebury there were now 2 Little Grebes present at the small pools.
Back on patch there was little of note but for a Little Owl that was observed sat partially hidden in one of the trees.
Little Owl (Athene noctua)