2012 Archive

31 December Along the road between Hilltop and the Tally Ho pub, Dave Baynton saw a male Merlin perched on a wire this afternoon.

30 December Keeping one of the bird tables topped up with berries, peanuts and apple, still brings in the Jays to one of Danny Arnold's bird feeding stations at Upper Rochford. Jays appear to be doing quite well in the area.

Jays taking peanuts Photos : Danny Arnold

25 December Happy Christmas !!

23 December Alongside the river by the Skateboard park on the playing field at Tenbury, Faye Pritchard had six Cormorant in a tree. This is the most that have been reported at any one time.

Update : Ken Willetts saw the above post about the Cormorants on the web site and set off in search of them. He only found two remaining in the spot describe by Faye, the others had presumably moved off. He did however manage to get these photos from afar, before these two also took to the air.

Cormorant Photos : Ken Willetts

21 December Given the time of year, we could not help but smile at Ken Willetts title to this photo of "Almost a partridge in a Pear Tree". A Cock Pheasant with food clearly on his mind!

Pheasant Photo : Ken Willetts

19 December A couple of nice photos from Ken Willetts on Highwood. The first is a little unusual, of a Treecreeper on a Fat Ball. These birds are primarily insect feeders, and are therefore not usually encountered on traditional bird feeders unless perhaps they have meal worms in. The second photo is the classic Robin on a Spade Handle.

Treecreeper Photo : Ken Willetts

Robin Photo : Ken Willetts

18 December Found out in the cold, Pete Thorp came across this moth on his patio and asked, "What is it?". Well, we can confidently tell you Pete, this is the very aptly named "December Moth", one of the very few moths that fly during this month of the year.

December Moth Photo : Pete Thorp

13 December Its a cold one today!...the over night temperature at Upper Rochford was -6.5C, so there was a bit of a heavy frost! Danny Arnold took this photo this morning.

Heavy frost on the Silver Birch and Oak Photo : Danny Arnold

12 December John Abbiss had these birds on his bird feeder today. A couple of Goldfinch and a male Blackcap can be clearly seen.....and is that a Linnet or Lesser Redpoll at the back?

Linnet Photo : John Abbiss

11 December Pete Stevens noted 16 Buzzard on the Field at Eastham Bridge at 9:30am this morning.

10 December Ken Willetts sent over these couple of bird photos taken in his garden at Highwood.

Goldfinch Photo : Ken Willetts

Nuthatch Photo : Ken Willetts

6 December A 'first' for Danny Arnold at Rochford today....A Jay clinging to a peanut feeder!

3 December There are not many moths that fly at this time of year, but this one does. The Satellite moth, so called because it has tow 'satellites' around the 'moon' on each wing, will tolerate quite cold conditions.

Satellite Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

2 December Margaret Bradley dropped an email in to say that she has had a small flock of Waxwings in her garden at Knighton on Teme. They took just one day to strip the berries off the Rowan Tree.

And Joyce Horsfall sent in another photo of yet another leucistic bird she has in the garden. This time its a male Blackbird.

Leucistic Blackbird Photo : Joyce Horsfall

Over on the Highwood, Ken Willetts took these photos of two garden visitors.

Marsh Tit Photo : Ken Willetts

Coal Tit Photo : Ken Willetts

1 December Chris & Jenny Rodgers had their first Brambling on their feeders of this winter. They always seem to get a few of these birds out at Stoke Bliss.

David Faulkner, Dean Fenton and Ken Willetts all went independently down to see the Waxwings at Ludlow yesterday, and again they were showing well. These couple of photos of these stunning birds were taken by Ken Willetts .....As of today, the birds have now exhausted the berry crop and moved on.

Waxwing Photos : Ken Willetts

30 November Joyce Horsfall at Eastham emailed in this picture taken in her garden. Its a leucistic Blue Tit. A condition where some of the coloured pigments in the birds skin have taken a rare genetic turn, rendering the coloured pigments white. It is sometimes more commonly seen in Blackbirds and Crows. But this is quite unusual.

Leucistic Blue Tit Photo : Joyce Horsfall

....And a Blue Tit in normal plumage from Ken Willetts garden on Highwood.

Blue Tit Photo : Ken Willetts

Over at Upper Rochford Danny Arnold was out doing some more bird photography today, this time on his own local patch at Birchfield. One of the platforms over looking the Valley was loaded up with apples, peanuts and berries off a white Rowan tree. It didn't take long for the Jays to find it!

Jays Photos : Danny Arnold

29 November Danny Arnold took these photo's of Waxwings which had taken up feeding on berries behind Harry Tuffins Supermarket on the A49 at Ludlow. Waxwings, so called because of their wax like red and yellow feathers on the wing tips, are a winter visitor from Scandinavia. Some years, the UK sees many of these birds. Other years, very few are reported. This year is an 'average' sort of year so far with most areas of the UK seeing at least a few of these birds.

Waxwings Photos : Danny Arnold

Closer to home, Nick Bews has had a small flock of Waxwings in his orchard at Boraston over the last couple of days.

Meantime over at Boraston, Rachel Packard has had nine Brambling on the seed feeders in the garden.

And at Wolferlow, Stuart Smith has had today, A flock of mixed finches gleaning alder cones – chaffinch, goldfinch and greenfinch plus at least eight siskin's Plus a nice party of mixed ducks on Heath Farm pond – eight mallard, ten teal, three little grebes and a superb male widgeon – a new first for Wolferlow. That takes Stuart to 80 species in the small hamlet of Wolferlow so far this year. A really good local record.

28 November Ken Willetts went down to Eastham Bridge today, just to see how high the River Teme was getting. Almost over the road by the look of it!

Flooding at Eastham Bridge Photo : Ken Willetts

27 November John Abbiss photographed this female Blackcap on one of his feeders on Oldwood Common today. The female has a brown cap. It is only the Male Blackcap that actually has a Black Cap!

Female Blackcap Photo : John Abbiss

26 November David Patrick sent another note in today to say that he had six Waxwings in the garden at 1pm today. The first report of these birds this year locally.

25 November David Patrick dropped an email in to say that he has had the first sighting this year of the avian pox virus that affects Great Tits. This has been quite prevalent in Great Tits in the Valley over the last few years and we are keen to hear if you see it on any birds this year. And the RSPB are also monitoring it nationally. You can report it direct to them via a reporting form which can be downloaded from the web site below which also gives more helpful advice on spotting the symptoms and minimising the impact of it spreading to other birds in your garden


23 November Jeremy Hughes noted 15 Buzzard on the field at Eastham Bridge today. And further down stream at Stockton, Cherlye Spice saw two Otters in the coloured river water today, swimming up stream.

22 November Sallyann Williams took these photos over the last few days, of fungi growing in her field at Great Witley. Thanks to John Bingham for the identification.

Top Left to right and down the page : Yellow Brain Fungi : Cortinarius spp : possibly Clitocybe spp. or Pseudoclitocybe cyathiformis : Lepista nuda, Wood Blewit : Lepista nuda Wood Blewit : Laccaria amethystea, Amethyst deceiver : Clitocybe fragrans : Hygrocybe virginea (nivea), Snowy Waxcap

18 November Geoff Wookey had a Lesser Redpoll on his feeder in the garden at Boraston this morning. Taking his dog out, he also reports seeing Goldcrests in Ashbed Wood this morning. Geoff says that the Thrushes have decimated the berry stocks there, but there are still large flocks of Redwing in the wood though lesser numbers of Fieldfare.

The fields either side of the bridle path leading to the wood are teeming with massive flocks of Chaffinch and there small numbers of Brambling amongst them.

The pools on the other side of the wood produced 62 Canada Geese, 6 Mute Swan (a pair and 4 cygnets) and 2 Cormorant. There were also Mallard and Moorhen present. Buzzards, Green Woodpecker, Raven and the usual subjects all seen today.

He also saw a possible Peregrine yesterday but it was too distant to get a positive ID. It's less than 4 miles in a straight line to the Clee so it's possible it may have been one from there.

At Wolferlow, Stuart Smith had a probable Goshawk sighting.

And just to show that even relatively common birds can be spectacular, take a look at this photograph taken by Ken Willetts of a Starling in his garden.

Starling Photo : Ken Willetts

15 November Roger Arnold had a Dipper on Kyre Brook in Tenbury this morning.

John Abbiss had his camera out over on Oldwood Common today and sent in these photos of some of natures larder.

Natures Larder Photo : John Abbiss

11 November Geoff Wookey had another first for his garden bird list at Boraston. A Goldcrest turned up today.

10 November Danny Arnold took a long camera lens down to the field adjacent to Eastham Bridge today and found 14 Buzzard partaking of worms in the field. The following photo are are some of the birds seen.

Buzzards Photos : Danny Arnold

Danny also took up the offer of photographing the Stonechat pair on the Clee that Dave Barnes had shown at his recent talk to the Teme Valley Wildlife Group. Here's the result. Thanks Dave!

Male Stonechat Photo : Danny Arnold

Female Stonechat Photo : Danny Arnold

Meantime, over at Highwood, Ken Willetts trapped this Angle Shades Moth. This moth is a master at camouflage as can be seen.

Angle Shades Photo : Ken Willetts

9 November Ken Willetts sent in this colourful moth. A Mottled Umber. It has several colour variations, though the structure of the patterning is nearly always the same.

Mottled Umber Photo : Ken Willetts

Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the Valley, Geoff Wookey reports there being, massive flocks of Redwing and Fieldfare being seen in the area, though, he says, the numbers dropped by one yesterday when a Sparrowhawk took one of the Redwing and sat in the meadow with it enjoying breakfast! There were 32 Canada Geese using the ponds next to Ashbed Wood this morning along with 2 Cormorants. There are also very large flocks of Chaffinch in the area at the moment.

Charlotte Hughes counted 14 Buzzard on the field by Eastham Bridge today and 16 again, yesterday!

8 November John Abbiss went down to the stubble field at Eastham Bridge and saw eight Buzzard there today.

Eight Buzzard in the Buzzard Stubble field Photo : John Abbiss

7 November On Highwood, Ken Willetts has completed a whole year of moth trapping and had some amazing species in his garden trap. These two moths are typical autumn species in the area. The Sprawler is a conifer species, so if there are no conifers in the area, then you are unlikely to come across it. Where there are conifers however, then it is a relatively common species. The larvae of the Agonopterix species feeds on Knapweed and various Thistle species, so is also a regularly seen species in the Teme Valley.

The Sprawler Photo : Ken Willetts

697 Agonopterix arenella Photo : Ken Willetts

Ken also took these photos of some fungi in the garden.

Fungi in the garden Photo : Ken Willetts

5 November over on the Clee Hill, Suzanne Thomas reports the return of Fieldfare on the Horse Chestnut in the garden and her first ever record of a Goldcrest. Always nice to see these elusive birds. Keith Goldthorpe also reports seeing flocks of Fieldfare at Abberley.

4 November Geoff Wookey at Boraston managed to get a photo of the Brambling which he reported on his bird feeders a few days ago.

Brambling and Goldfinch Photo : Geoff Wookey

3 November David Faulkner on the side of the Clee reports large numbers of Redwing and Fieldfare moving into the area. He also took this digiscope picture of a Buzzard perched up on a post some 150 meters away from the house. Interesting that this is such a pale bird. Probably a juvenile.

Buzzard Photo : David Faulkner

1 November Pete & Vicki Stevens took this snap of an Orb Garden spider they found in a bucket in their greenhouse. Rather amusing markings can be seen, as they commented! They also commented on seeing up to eight Buzzards in the same field as previously reported (below) at Eastham bridge.

Araneus quadratus Orb garden spider Photo : Pete & Vicki Stevens


31 October Brian Marsh photographed this Comma butterfly soaking up the last few rays of sunshine this year. Its not been a good year for Butterflies and sights like this have been few and far between.

Comma Butterfly Photos : Brian Marsh

29 October Geoff Wookey over at Boraston is having a bit of a bird fest at the moment. He reports a large flock of Redwing and Fieldfare in the area over the last few days, with large numbers of Redwing feeding on berries in Ashbed Wood. He's also having Nuthatch and Jays in the garden daily and has taken a couple of pictures of a Sparrowhawk which likes perching in the garden.

Sparrowhawk Photos : Geoff Wookey

27 October Charlotte Hughes spotted an incredible sixteen Buzzards on the ground on the stubble field on the left as you come over Eastham Bridge towards Eastham today. A few days earlier, Danny Arnold had seen six Buzzards on the same field. Presumably they were taking worms.

26 October - Ken Willetts had this moth known as the Brick come to light last night. It is a typical autumn species.

The Brick Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

24 October Geoff Wookey had a Redline Quaker, a Northern Winter Moth and a November Moth in his moth light trap at Boraston last night, all new for the year. Meanwhile on the opposite side of the Valley, Ken Willetts trapped this Feathered Thorn, a common, but none the less impressive looking species.

Feathered Thorn Photo : Ken Willetts

20 October Geoff Wookey has had the first Brambling of the year on his bird feeders. Two in fact, both Males.

15 October Following a Fungi Wildlife Group talk last year, Chris & Jenny Rodgers went out and found a very scarce waxcap species of fungi in their orchard. This was the Pink Waxcap that has come up again this year. It is now a very special site as several species of Waxcap fungi have now been found there. Here are three from this year.

Pink Waxcap Photo : Chris Rodgers

Butter Waxcap Photo : Chris Rodgers

Parrot Waxcap Photo : Chris Rodgers

13 October This must be surely one of the UK's most stunning moth species. Taken by Ken Willetts on Highwood in his light trap, this beautifully marked Merveille de Jour moth.

Merveille de Jour Photo : Ken Willetts

9 October Over at Wolferlow, Stuart Smith has had two Goldcrest, One female Black Cap and four Pied Wagtails in the garden this week.

Meanwhile in the center of Tenbury Town , Dave Barnes has noted that there are still a family of House Martins being fed in a nest above Tenbury Fish Bar. This is a really late brood!

Up on the Clee, Suzanne Thomas had a Pole Cat in her car head lights last night and several Ravens up on the Titterstone Clee today.

At Boraston Rachel Packard has a stream running along her garden boundary and snapped this Kingfisher, perched on a branch above the brook, through her sitting room window. Great garden record Rachel !!

Kingfisher Photo : Rachel Packard

8 October A not so common moth over the last few years came to Ken Willetts trap on highwood last night. This Pale Pinion moth is very similar to the much scarcer Tawny Pinion which although present in the Teme Valley is seldom recorded.

Pale Pinion Photo : Ken Willetts

6 October Beautiful weather this morning saw the Group putting up Owl and Raptor nest boxes on the bird seed field site at Eastham. Many Thanks to Roy and Paul from the Worcs Barn Owl Conservancy Trust for their help and advice.

Geoff and Roy siting a raptor box Photo : Paul Wright

Paul, getting a box into position Photo : Paul Wright

The finished Job ! Photo : Paul Wright

5 October Just to prove what a strange year weather wise we are having, this Ypsolopha sequella moth is normally on the wing in July & August. This is a very late record for this species for Ken Willetts.

462 Ypsolopha sequella Photo : Ken Willetts

4 October A Muntjac Deer out in the daylight on the Highwood in Ken Willetts garden. These deer are seldom seen in the valley, although there are good indications that they are quite numerous. Also called the "Barking Deer", as they bark not unlike a dog.

Muntjac Photo : Ken Willetts

3 October At Highwood, Ken Willetts noted a dead Pigeon on the driveway. Presumably taken out by a Sparrow hawk or similar. Within a few minutes this Buzzard came on the scene and was eyeing up the remains from the top of a conifer.

Buzzard Photo : Ken Willetts

2 October Walking over at Brimfield, Geoff Wookey came across a Goshawk hunting over the fields.

1 October With the thistles and teasels now going into seed, the finches, and especially the Goldfinches are having a feeding frenzy. Ken Willetts photographed these in his garden.

Goldfinch Photo : Ken Willetts

29 September Butterflies have been in quite short supply this year with the weather being so wet. This Speckled Wood however, took advantage of a little sunshine today at Lower Rochford where Caroline Roseman managed to get a photograph of it whilst settled.

Speckled Wood Butterfly Photo : Caroline Roseman

25 September Once quite a common sight in our gardens, this Garden Tiger Moth is now showing a serious decline in population numbers nationally. Will Watson found this one in his garden at Docklow.

Garden Tiger Moth Photo : Will Watson

24 September This Pink Barred Sallow moth is a sure indicator that Autumn is here. Not an especially common moth in Worcs, but present in the Teme Valley in good numbers. There are several Sallow species of Moth, which are all visually very similar. The second is a more common species, Barred Sallow. Both came to light for Ken Willetts

Pink barred Sallow Photo : Ken Willetts

Barred Sallow Photo : Ken Willetts

19 September Geoff Wookey's garden pool, built last year has had another bird 'first'. A Kingfisher arrived at his pool. A great garden record!

18 September A relatively rare moth for Worcs came into Ken Willetts moth trap last night. Ypsolopha vittella is an Elm feeder, so not often seen in these parts.

463 Ypsolopha vittella Photo : Ken Willetts

16 September Over at Hope Bagot, Tony Thompson sent in this photo of the enormous bracket fungi found growing on Oak. an amazing sight!

Bracket Fungi Photo : Tony Thompson

13 September One of three very similar species of moth came into the trap of Ken Willetts last night. This is the rarest of the three called August Thorn. Confusingly there is also a September Thorn which flies BEFORE this one in the year.

August Thorn Photo : Ken Willetts

9 September Ken Willetts sent in this stunning photo of a sunset from on Highwood. And also a couple of new moth species from his light trap last night.

Sunset overlooking the Clee from Highwood Photo : Ken Willetts

Brown China Mark Photo : Ken Willetts

Frosted Orange Photo : Ken Willetts

Meantime over at Wolferlow, Stuart Smith found this Red Underwing flying around his conservatory. This moth is easily disturbed and is a very fast flyer, so a great photo Stuart! Stuart also had two Great Black Backed Gulls in a newly ploughed field adjacent to his house today.

Red Underwing Photo : Stuart Smith

7 September Ken Willetts has almost completed his first year of moth trapping at his house on the Highwood. But new species keep coming in. This freshly emerged Autumnal Rustic is a sure sign Autumn is here!

Autumnal Rustic Photo : Ken Willetts

5 September This time from Pete & Vicki Stevens garden at Frith Common, Vicki photographed and correctly identified this Herald Moth. (So named because of its 'shield' shape)

Herald Moth Photo : Vicki Stevens

Also at Frith Common around the Millennium Green, Angie Hill photographed this Common Darter Dragonfly.

Common Darter Photo : Angie Hill

And finally for today, Ken Willetts had these two moths in his light trap last night. The Caloptilia falconipennella is a tiny micro moth of just a few millimeters in length. It is a fantastic record as up until a couple of years ago, it had never been recorded in Worcs. But it is now spreading and we now have several records of it from the Teme Valley.

Caloptilia falconipennella Photo : Ken Willetts

The Canary Shouldered Thorn is one of those moths that looks just like its name suggests!!

Canary Shouldered Thorn Photo : Ken Willetts

3 September More lovely photos of the wildlife in John Abbiss's Oldwood Common Garden. (The Hover fly's were identified by Harry Green).

Hover Fly - Eristalis pertinax Photo : John Abbiss

Hover Flies - Eristalis tenax & Eristalis pertinax Photo : John Abbiss

Red Admiral Butterfly Photo : John Abbiss

Small Tortoise Butterfly Photo : John Abbiss

Peacock Butterfly Photo : John Abbiss

31 August An indicator species that says summer is coming to an end. This the Feathered Gothic Moth. From Ken Willetts light trap.

Feathered Gothic Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

30 August Just to prove a point, Simone Arnold took this photo of a Silver Y moth in her garden at Clifton. There really are a lot around this year.

Silver Y Moth Photo : Simone Arnold

And a caterpillar that Simone didn't want on her broccoli Large White Butterfly !

Large White Butterfly caterpillar Photo : Simone Arnold

27 August Ken Willetts took this photo showing that there still a few Swallows around. Wont be here for long though!

Swallow Photo : Ken Willetts

25 August Caroline Roseman came back to her house last night at Lower Rochford and saw a Barn Owl at the bottom of her driveway. Barn Owls are definitely making a small come back of late with one or two sightings being reported in the Lower Rochford / Eastham area. Let us know if you have any sightings locally.

25 August John Abbiss at Oldwood Common sent in these photos from his garden. The Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar is shown against a £1 coin, just so you can get an indication of its size.

Elephant Hawk Moth Caterpillar Photo : John Abbiss

This is the larvae of the Green Shield bug (palomena prasins)

Green Shield bug (palomena prasins) Photo : John Abbiss

And this photo from John shows a Small Tortoise butterfly recently emerged from its pupae case, drying its wings.

Small Tortoise Butterfly emerging from pupae case Photo : John Abbiss

24 August There seem to be an awful lot of these moths around this year, the so called Silver Y. We have an indigenous population here in the UK, but at this time of year it is often supplemented with migrants from abroad. Another of Ken Willetts photos.

Silver Y Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

23 August Another couple of interesting moths from Ken Willetts light trap. This time two from the same family Group, the Pug Moths. This is a very difficult Group to get to grips with as far as identification is concerned. Fortunately however, these two are two of the easiest to identify.

Lime Speck Pug Photo : Ken Willetts

Tawny Speckled Pug Photo : Ken Willetts

21 August Up on the Clee Suzanne Thomas had the window open at night and in flew this Small Square Spot Moth. This moth is widespread throughout the UK and prefers damp marshy habitat.

Small Square Spot Photo : Suzanne Thomas

20 August A timely reminder from Richard Pill as to the dangers to wildlife associated with man made fibers we put in the garden. This grass snake got caught up in the netting used to keep the birds off Richards vegetable patch. Richard released it unharmed. It just goes to show that we have to be very vigilant with this material.

Richard has also sent in some butterfly photos taken in his Orchard.

Grass Snake Photo : Richard Pill

Gate Keeper Butterfly Photo : Richard Pill

Small Copper Butterfly Photo : Richard Pill

Peacock Butterfly Photo : Richard Pill

19 August It just goes to show that you don't necessarily need a moth trap to see moths. This moth is the Magpie moth and is nocturnal, but it can often be found flying in the day time, as in this case, when Chris & Jenny Rogers at Stoke Bliss photographed it in their garden. Perhaps one you don't want to see too many of in your garden though, as the larvae feed on currants and gooseberries. In Scotland, especially in the Northern Isles, it is also very prevalent on heather.

Magpie Moth Photo : Chris & Jenny Rogers

18 August Another very distinctive micro moth from Ken Willetts light trap on Highwood last night. This is Ypsolopha scabrella. The larvae feed on Apple and Hawthorn, hence its relative abundance in the Teme Valley.

455 Ypsolopha scabrella Photo : Ken Willetts

15 August And into the light traps at Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold trapped this stunning Leopard Moth. There are only two previous records for the Teme Valley, both trapped by Danny in 2008 and 2009. It is a predominantly Southern species which will no doubt be moving north as the climate gets warmer.

Leopard Moth Photo : Danny Arnold

14 August Danny Arnold trapped this tiny macro at Upper Rochford last night, which if confirmed, will be only the 12th record for this species, Mompha sturnipennella, in Worcestershire. The moth is a relative new comer to the UK, first being found in 1950 in the South of the UK. Since then it has made a very slow progress north. The larvae feed and make a characteristic gall in Rosebay Willowherb.

891 Mompha sturnipennella Photo : Danny Arnold

13 August The Teme Valley Wildlife Group held their monthly walk over at Pound Green Common, Kinlet yesterday, led by Godfrey Jones. The weather stayed good for the afternoon and there were plenty of straminella moths flying up out of the grass, along with Ringlet butterflies. Austin Palmer also managed to get a photo of a Common Lizard basking on some bracken, spotted by Paul Mocroft, which was making the most of the afternoon sunshine.

Common Lizard Photo : Austin Palmer

And Brian Marsh sent in this great photo of a Yellow Necked Mouse feeding on peanuts. The cage might stop Squirrels, but it doesn't stop mice!!

Yellow Necked Mouse Photo : Brian Marsh

12 August Ken Willetts sent these photos over of more new stunning moths he's recorded in his garden over the last few nights. The Sallow Kitten is one of three "Kitten" moth we have in the UK. All show up in the Teme Valley from time to time at light traps, although not in very high numbers, so this is a good record.

Sallow Kitten Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

One of the most colourful micros we get in the Teme Valley, this is 658 Carcina quercana whose larvae feed on Beech and Oak.

658 Carcina quercana Photo : Ken Willetts

The last one is Acleris forsskaleana and is one of those species that can be quite variable in colour. Only measuring a few millimeters in length, its larvae feed on Maple primarily. Hence it is also quite common in the Teme Valley at this time of year.

1036 Acleris forsskaleana Photo : Ken Willetts

8 August Simone Arnold sent this photo of a moth she found. She called it the "Hugh Heffner moth". I guess you can see why!! It is 462 Ypsolopha sequella, whose larvae are very partial to Field Maple.

462 Ypsolopha sequella

Meantime at her home in Martley, Angie Hill sent in these fantastic pictures from her garden and on the Martley Millennium Green.

Spider Nursery Photo : Angie Hill

Gate Keeper Butterfly Photo : Angie Hill

Hoverfly Photo : Angie Hill

Hoverfly Photo : Angie Hill

Marbled White Butterfly Photo : Angie Hill

Crab Spider Photo : Angie Hill

7 August One of the more stunning of the Hook Tip type moths we have in the UK. This Pebble Hook Tip came into Ken Willetts light trap last night. The larvae feed on birch and Alder, hence it is relatively common in the Teme Valley area.

Pebble Hook Tip Photo : Ken Willetts

5 August A couple of stunning moths new to Ken Willetts from the last couple of nights. This White Plume Moth came in last night, and the Black Arches the previous night. Both are relatively common in the Teme Valley.

White Plume Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

Black Arches Photo : Ken Willetts

2 August Chris Peacock sent a note in saying he was getting Green Woodpeckers in the garden fairly regularly just now, hovering up ants. These birds seem to have had a good breeding year this year. And the latest offering from Ken Willetts moth trap, this tiny micro moth is only a few millimeters in length, which makes this photo all the more impressive and just goes to show the stunning detail of this tiny but stunning species. The larvae of this species Batia lunaris is thought to feed under bark on dead wood or fungi, but in truth, very little is known about the life cycle.

640 Batia lunaris Photo : Ken Willetts

1 August All these posts of Moths has inspired a few other people to look out for some and report what they see. But to start, Simone Arnold sent in this picture of a flower which she says grows by her pond each year and attracts loads of insects, as can be seen with this hoverfly. Nick Benbow confirmed it as a Sedum species.

Sedum species Photo : Simone Arnold

This quite large moth flew into Maggie Kingston's house at Stoke Bliss the other night. One of our large UK moths, this is the Drinker Moth, so called because of the belief that its larvae have a liking for drops of dew.

Drinker Moth Photo : Maggie Kingston

And just one from Ken Willetts. This time a freshly emerged Straw Underwing Moth , so named because, the underwing's are straw coloured !!

     Straw Underwing Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

30 July Just one showcasing the best of the bunch from Ken Willetts haul last night. This Lunar Spotted Pinion is showing a lot of wear on its thorax (scales are coming off), but its still just about possible to figure out the identification. A good record for the area. It is in the Teme Valley, but records do not number many.

Lunar Spotted Pinion Photo : Ken Willetts

29 July Just one from Ken Willetts today. This Large Emerald Moth is the largest of our Emerald moths. Its larvae feed on Birch, so as would be expected, it is quite common, though not often seen unless running a light trap, in the Teme Valley.

Large Emerald Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

27 July At Abberley, Rosie Burton has had a flock of 12 Mistle Thrushes on her lawn today. (Presumably feeding on leatherjackets?).

Meantime, up on Highwood, Ken Willetts is continuing to increase his garden species records for new moths by adding these two. The Magpie Moth is as colourful as any butterfly. The small drab Muslin Footman is a moth more associated with areas with dry stone walls were its larvae feeds on lichens associated with this type of habitat. Clearly there are virtually none of those structures in this area, but we do have good air quality and lichens can be seen in many of the dingles. This moth certainly does seem to have a good population locally as it is recorded in reasonable numbers by light traps each year. Elsewhere in the County, it is quite sparsely recorded, even in its dry stone wall habitats.

Magpie Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

Muslin Footman Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

25 July A very warm night last night meant that Ken Willetts moth trap was buzzing with moths. These are three of the best photos he sent over.

Scarce Silver Lines Photo : Ken Willetts

Dunbar Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

Large Twin Spot Carpet Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

24 July Phil Morgan at Menith Wood is the only person who reports Glow Worms locally. Does anybody else see / have them in their gardens?

Glow Worm Photo : Phil Morgan

23 July Caroline Roseman emailed to say she had seen a small flock of Mistle Thrushes in the fields by her house. And just up the road, Ken Willetts sent in this photograph of a Song Thrush with three de shelled snails in its beak. Clearly it is still feeding young. This might be a second or even third brood. Clearly all these reports indicate the thrush species are doing well this year.

Song Thrush with three de-shelled snails Photo : Ken Willetts

Over at Menith Wood on the Millennium Green, Vicki Stevens took this photo of several Six Spot Burnet Moths invading the flower head of Ragged Robin. They also found similar in the church yard at Lindridge.

Six Spot Burnet Moths Photo : Vicki Stevens

22 July Linda Hobbs emailed to say that she has got a family of Newts in her Green House. Presumably they are taking advantage of the warmth in there?

Over at Clifton on Teme, Simone Arnold sent in these two pictures of a Crab Spider from her garden. Great photos!

Crab Spider Photo : Simone Arnold

On Highwood, Ken Willetts had more new moth species in. This stunning Scalloped Oak appears to be doing well this year, with plenty about, whilst the Chinese Character, does not seem to be fairing so well, with only very low numbers being seen this year.

Scalloped Oak Photo : Ken Willetts

Chinese Character Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

21 July A nice selection of photos from John Abbiss at Oldwood Common. The Vapourer Moth caterpillar is especially nice to see as the moth is seldom seen at light in the moth traps in this area. Quite distinctive. John also sends in a picture of a cricket and worker bee on a flower collecting pollen.

Vapourer Moth caterpillar Photo : John Abbiss

Cricket Photo : John Abbiss

Worker bee Photo : John Abbiss

And another quite distinctive moth for Ken Willetts last night. This Shaded Broad Bar moth.

Shaded Broad Bar Photo : Ken Willetts

20 July Five more stunningly pretty species of moth, all new to Ken Willetts garden light trap. The Slender Brindle is a relatively common species locally and is fairly consistent in its appearance. The moth is essentially a woodland species with the larvae feed on woodland grasses.

Slender Brindle Photo : Ken Willetts

The next moth is a micro moth measuring only a 11 mm wingspan. It is 866 Brachmia blandella. Its larvae feed on Gorse. Again, relatively common in the Teme Valley.

866 Brachmia blandella Photo : Ken Willetts

Very similar in appearance to the perhaps more common, Common Footman, this Scarce Footman tends to hold its wings a lot tighter rolled around its body when resting. It also, usually, has a deeper orange head than the Common Footman. The larvae feed on Lichens and mosses.


Scarce Footman Photo : Ken Willetts

The Small Emerald moth is a non too frequent visitor to the Teme Valley. It is more associated with Chalky soils on woodland edges. Even so, the Teme Valley usually records a couple of these each year. The larvae feed on wild clematis and Travellers Joy.

Small Emerald Photo : Ken Willetts

Probably one of the most variable moth spices in the Uk. This is the most common form of Common Rustic...or Lesser Common Rustic (The two cannot be separated visually!). They can range from a black, through various mottling of brown to an almost ochre colour. The consistent feature is the shape and the white kidney marks. The larvae feed on various grasses including tall fescue and cocks foot.

Common / Lesser Common Rustic Photo : Ken Willetts

16 July Perhaps a little unusual, but we do get these moths in the Teme Valley occasionally. It is the True Lovers Knot Moth, a heather feeder and a moth of usually moorland habitat. Probably a good chance that it came in off the Clee, straight into Ken Willetts light trap, which can also be seen from the Clee!

True Lovers Knot Photo : Ken Willetts

16 July A big update today.....At Oldwood Common, John Abbiss sent in these three photos. The leaf mine clearly shows the larvae having vacated the mine and formed pupation cocoon. Any info as to what this might be will be great fully received.

leaf mine Photo : John Abbiss

Azure Damselfly Photo : John Abbiss

Green Spider Photo : John Abbiss

Bill Spice saw a Kingfisher on the river at Stockton today.

Over at Wolferlow, Stuart Smith has had six Wrens fledging in his garden. He also had these baby hedgehogs born recently. Great to see!

Baby Hedgehog Photos : Stuart Smith

At Ken Willetts light trap, he continues to add to his garden species moth list. Thee new ones came in last night. The Micro Moth Gold Triangle, whose larvae feed on dry vegetable matter such as thatch and hay stacks was the first. The second is Purple Thorn, the larvae of which are quite gregarious in their feeding habits, as they feed on a variety of deciduous trees. The final moth is Coxcomb Prominent, another one whose larvae feeds on a variety of deciduous trees.

Gold Triangle Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

Purple Thorn Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

Coxcomb Prominent Photo : Ken Willetts

13 July Becoming more and more scarce, this beautiful Garden Tiger Moth came into Ken Willetts light trap at Highwood last night. Another nice record for Kens garden list.

Garden Tiger Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

Angie Hill sent in these great photos from a recent walk. The Narrow bordered Five Spot Burnet moths in cop are a good record for the area.

Narrow bordered Five Spot Burnet Photo : Angie Hill

A silk cocoon on a grass stem. Any idea what's likely to emerge??

Silk cocoon on a grass stem Photo : Angie Hill

The Large Skipper Butterfly Photo : Angie Hill

The Meadow Brown Butterfly Photo : Angie Hill

12 July The warm spell yesterday prompted mass exodus of young frogs from Pete & Vicki Stevens pond area to field. This one in his hand, along side buttercup for size. This morning also Vicki spotted very large grass snake basking along side the pond area......hopefully most of the frogs made their escape!

Frog Photo : Vicki Stevens

Over on the Highwood, Ken Willetts has put another new moths species on his garden list. Last night this very smart looking

1378 Phlyctaenia coronata came to his light trap. The larvae feed on Elder.

1378 Phlyctaenia coronata Photo : Ken Willetts

In David Patrick's garden in Tenbury, he has had five Goldcrest taking what he thinks are blackfly off his Cherries. Nice garden record David! David also sent in this photo of a Blue Tailed Damsel fly, seen over his pond today.

Goldcrest Photo : David Patrick

Blue Tailed Damsel fly Photo : David Patrick

And at David Male's house in Abberley, he photographed this freshly emerged Southern Hawker Dragonfly - ID confirmation by Mike Averill, Worcs dragonfly recorder. David made sure his record has gone down in posterity, by ensuring that the information was also passed to the British Dragonfly Society.

Southern Hawker Dragonfly Photo : David Male

11 July We have been asking you about Polecat sightings in the area. Eric Wharton rang in to say that he trapped two in a humane trap about six months ago at Burford. One was an adult and the other was a youngster. It just proves that they are on both sides of the River.

10 July Rachel Packard was looking out of the kitchen window today and saw this Grass Snake in the vegetation. Rachel says it was almost three feet in length.

Grass Snake Photo : Rachel Packard

9 July David Patrick was bemused to see this Red Legged Partridge walking up his driveway in Tenbury yesterday!

Red Legged Partridge Photo : David Patrick

Over at Stoke Bliss, Chris & Jenny Rodgers took these shots of a Four Spotted Chaser dragonfly on their newly created pond. Just goes to show., If you make it...they will come!

Four Spotted Chaser Photos : Jenny Rodgers

A little earlier in the year, Bill Spice at Stockton took these photos. The first two show a Mayfly close up and a mayfly hatch. Quite spectacular, all to fly mate and die within a few hours.

Mayfly Photo : Bill Spice

Mayfly Hatch Photo : Bill Spice

Bill says that Tawny Owl used to come out just before dark and would become besieged by Blackbirds

Tawny Owl Photo : Bill Spice

And this series of three photos comes from a barn just down the road from Bill. Kestrels have taken up residence and successfully fledged young. Great news for a bird that is struggling nationally.

Kestrel Nesting site Photos : Bill Spice

And finally, a shot for the botanists showing eight types of Grass Bill has on his local wildflower meadow.

Meadow grasses Photo : Bill Spice

8 July In one of the moth traps at Upper Rochford last night, Danny Arnold had rare species for Worcs turn up. The tiny but distinctive 469 Eidophasia messingiella has only been recorded in Worcs six times before (and with this record, that's three out the seven records that have come from this site in Upper Rochford). The larvae feed on Hoary Cress.

469 Eidophasia messingiella Photo : Danny Arnold

Meantime over at Boraston, Geoff Wookey had a pair of Siskin in the garden. An unusual sighting for this time of year.

Siskin on the feeder Photo: Geoff Wookey

7 July On the 5th of this month, a couple of days ago, the Teme Valley Wildlife Group held one of its "Bug Hunts" with another local School. This time it was with the kind organisation of Mrs Wendy Southall and the children at Bayton School. Sheila Benbow from the Group coordinated with the school and we had a lovely afternoon finding all manner of mini beast with the children. A few photographs from the afternoon are shown below with the schools permission.

Children from Bayton School and TVWG members on a Bug Hunt Photos: Wendy Southall

We were tipped off about a Little Owl showing itself in the day at Highwood, so we sent highwood photographer Ken Willetts out on a mission to see if he could get a photo. He came back with these. A success we think. Little Owls are rarely reported so this is a nice record for the Valley.

Little Owl Photos : Ken Willetts

6 July At his home on Oldwood Common , John Abbiss found these three moths skulking in the vegetation. Many moths can be disturbed from vegetation. during the day. These are all considered to be Micro moths, although they are relatively large. The top one is the Garden Pebble. Bottom Left is the Nettle Tap Moth and Bottom Right is the Golden Triangle Moth. All are relatively common in the Teme Valley area.

All photos : John Abbiss

5 July At Highwood, Ken Willetts continues to expand his garden moth list with some more spectacular species of Moth.

Starting with this 1272 Pammene aurana moth. A tiny micro moth who's larvae feeds on hog weed. A new record for the Teme Valley.

1272 Pammene aurana Photo : Ken Willetts

Then there is this quite spectacular Swallow Tailed Moth. Quite a large moth and very distinctive with its 'Swallow tails'.

Swallow Tailed Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

Then there is this 'plume moth' 1498 Amblyptilia punctidactyla The larvae feed on the un ripe seeds of the Woundwort plant.

1498 Amblyptilia punctidactyla Photo : Ken Willetts

And the aptly named Beautiful Hook tip moth. The larvae of this moth feed on lichens found on the bark of trees.

Beautiful Hook tip Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

And finally, the Iron Prominent moth. A heavy Noctuid moth with red 'rust' patches showing through the steel grey, so giving it, its name.

Iron Prominent Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

4 July Simone Arnold shows just how bold rats can be in search of food. She photographed this one in her garden.

Rat Photo : Simone Arnold

2 July David Patrick sent in a photo of these Azure damsel flies on his pool. David comments that it has been a pool year for dragonflies generally in his garden. Although there seem to be these Azure damsel flies about when the sun does shine, other species are very obviously absent. David has also recorded the occasional Broad bodied chaser and Large Red species, but not in the numbers of previous years.

Azure Damsel Flies in cop Photo : David Patrick

1 July A busy day on the wildlife front. John Abbiss at Oldwood Common took so great shots of wildlife he found around his patch today. Including ladybirds, beetles moths and flies. The Six Spot Burnet moth is a good record as this is the first record for the Teme Valley. THere are currently no other records for this species on the Worcs data base. Can anybody put a name to the hovverfly species, or shield bug species? If so, please email in.

The Lychnis moth is also another good record. Associated with heath land typically, of which Oldwood Common is in part, this moth is not too often seen in the Teme Valley.

Lady Birds in cop Photo : John Abbiss

Six Spot Burnet Photo : John Abbiss

Black & Red Ladybird Photo : John Abbiss

Leucozona lucorum - Hover fly Photo : John Abbiss

Two spot Lady Bird Photo : John Abbiss

Another Black & Red Ladybird Photo : John Abbiss

Corizus hyoscyomi Shield Bugs in cop Photo : John Abbiss

Lychnis Moth Photo : John Abbiss

Over at Boraston Geoff Wookey trapped this small micro moth. 1336 Eudonia pallida. Not that common in this area, so another good moth record. Not much is known about the life cycle of this species. It inhabits damp places and it is thought the larvae feed on lichens and mosses.

1336 Eudonia pallida Photo : Geoff Wookey

And not to be outdone. Ken Willetts had another new record for his garden last night. This time the nicely marked Broom Moth, so called because its larvae feed on the Broom plant, as well as Bracken.

Broom Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

30 June The Victorians were very interested in the natural world and they were particularly interested in butterflies and moths. It is them that we have to thank for the vernacular names of of our moth species. Their philosophy was very much to call the moth by what it looked like. So in the example below, it can easily be seen why this moth was called Burnished Brass. Another of Ken Willetts moth trap visitors.

Burnished Brass Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

Ken also trapped this black moth which is called a Peppered Moth. The reason from this specimen is not obvious. That is because this moth is actually a melanic (black) form of this species. This moth is usually pure white, with a sprinkling of 'black pepper' over its wings. This black form is unusual, but not too uncommon. One or two usually get reported each year in the area.

Peppered Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

29 June Chris Peacock dropped an email in saying that he is getting a Jay visiting the garden regularly at the moment. He also had a Sparrowhawk zip through this morning too !

Over at Stanford, Chris Mussell has been having some good bird activity. He's seen a Red Kite with a distinctive notch in its wing and split in its tail. (Worth looking out for!) Chris says that the farm has been siliaging over the last two days and he suspects it is looking for fleeing rodents. Chris also had a wild Roe Deer on his patch over the last few days, and also reports seeing three Curlew in a field up by the Fox pub at Hanley Broadheath a couple of days ago.

These photos were taken by Chris from his garden.

Nuthatch foraging Photo : Chris Mussell

Great Spotted Woodpecker Photo : Chris Mussell

Blue Tit feeding Young Photo : Chris Mussell

Robin on Post Photo : Chris Mussell

28 June At Sapey Common, Doh Gannon saw a Redstart in her back garden today. A great garden bird record. There seem to have been a few more of this species around this year as a number of people have mentioned seeing them locally.

At Eastham, Hilda Philips sent in a note saying that she has had two Ravens nesting in a fir tree this year. They had a couple of fledglings.

And just to show that Ken Willetts Garden is not just full of moths, a stunning picture of a fox cub, that he snapped before breakfast today....and a couple of stunning moths too!

Fox cub Photo : Ken Willetts

The Lobster Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

The Lobster moth is not especially common in the UK, but has been recorded several times in the Teme Valley. It larvae live on Beech and Oak. It gets its name from the fact that the larvae look more like a crustacean than a caterpillar.

Elephant Hawk Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

The Elephant hawk Moth, in its stunning pink and greens, gets its name....yes you've guessed it,.... from the fact that the larvae of the moth is supposed to look like an elephants trunk. (I'm not making it up!). The larvae can be found on bedstraws and Rosebay Willowherb.

27 June Unfortunately this moth died just after this photo was taken. However, it is a potentially important record for the Teme Valley area. Ken Willetts trapped it last night in his continuing good run of new moths to his garden trap. It is a tiny micro moth of around 10mm in length called 887 Mompha lacteella which is a species not recorded before in the Teme Valley. There is a very similar species Mompha propinquella which has been recorded locally before.

887 Mompha lacteella Photo : Ken Willetts

26 June Having had a couple of warmish nights at last, a few moths have now started to appear. Another new one for Ken Willetts last night was the Small Fan-footed Wave, a pretty little moth with obvious markings. It can be disturbed by day in grassland.

Small Fan-footed Wave Photo : Ken Willetts

Up on the Clee Hill, Suzanne Thomas saw a Green Woodpecker on the Common (probably after the ants), and on the Cleobury Clee Hill road over the last few days has seen three Curlew in one of the ploughed fields.

25 June Ken Willetts moth trap again. This time a moth called the Spectacle ....because when viewed head on...it looks like it is wearing spectacles. (Honest!)

The Spectacle Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

24 June Ken Willetts persistence at moth trapping has hit the jackpot on the moth front! At Highwood today, he trapped a tiny Orange and Black Micro moth 902 Chrysoclista lathamella This a 'first record for Worcs' for this species, never having been recorded in the County before. We are also fairly sure that it has never been recorded in the surrounding counties either. (Update : Tony Simpson the Worcs Lepidoptera recorder confirmed the record a couple of days later and confirmed that there are only a handful of records for this species nationally) Very little is known about the moth. It is thought that the larvae feed under the bark of the narrow leaved Willow species, but interestingly, Ken has no Willows in his garden!

902 Chrysoclista lathamella Photos : Ken Willetts

Meanwhile, in Phil Morgan's garden at Frith Common, the Green Woodpeckers that are nesting in the tree just a few meters away from the Kitchen Window are putting their heads out of the hole, as if to fledge imminently.

23 June Caroline Roseman has had two close encounters last night. She saw Two Barn Owls on her way home to Lower Rochford. One at the bottom of her drive and the other on the flats at Eastham Bridge. Caroline also send in these pictures of a Toad she disturbed. Not very happy by the look of it!

A 'Grumpy' Toad Photos : Caroline Roseman

And Joe Roseman photographed this Heron from the car window, on his drive. It may well be looking for Frogs and Toads as well !!

Heron Photo : Joe Roseman

And over at Boraston, the baby Rabbits are invading Geoff Wookey's Garden.

Rabbit invasion photo : Geoff Wookey

22 June Ken Willetts has been aware of a Stoat in his garden for some time...and never had a camera to hand ...until now.

Great photo Ken. Note the characteristic black tip to its tail.

Stoat Photo : Ken Willetts

Confirming what the Common Bird Survey tells us, Jackdaws are the most common bird in terms of numbers in the Teme Valley. These photos from Pete Thorp show many hundred birds coming in to roost this evening.

Jackdaws Amassing Photo : Pete Thorp

Jackdaws Coming in to Roost Photo : Pete Thorp

21 June More Moth photos from the light trap of Ken Willetts up on Highwood. The Treble Brown Spot moth is a woodland edge species. The larvae feed on Ivy and Knotgrass. It is relatively common in the Teme Valley. The second moth is either Grey or Dark Dagger. They cannot be reliably separated visually, although the caterpillar larvae are quite distinctively different and can be found on Blackthorn and Hawthorn.

Treble Brown Spot Photo : Ken Willetts

Grey or Dark Dagger Photo : Ken Willetts

And another photo from Ken, this time a Spider Nursery found in some nettles. Ken says they were no bigger than the head of a pin.

Spider Nursery Photo : Ken Willetts

20 June Every year, Philip Morgan at Menith Wood sees Glow Worms at his house. This year is no exception with two appearing tonight.

Opening up his shed on Highwood, , Ken Willetts found this 'work in progress'. A Wasps nest was being built!

Wasps nest building Photo : Ken Willetts

And another new species of moth for Ken last night........and a great photograph of this tiny tortrix moth (Wingspan 11 - 16 mm) by the latin name of 1013 Olindia schumacherana. The larvae of this moth feed on Celandine.

1013 Olindia schumacherana Photo : Ken Willetts

19 June Another stunning moth photo from Ken Willetts. This photo shows the Blood vein moth...fairly easy to see how it got its name. This came to light at Highwood last night.

Blood vein Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

18 June Stuart Smith at Wolferlow reports a Cuckoo in the garden this afternoon, plus a Spotted Flycatcher this evening. Stuart also has a Hedgehog nest in his wood store. It seems to be a good year for hedgehogs this year with several people seeing and reporting them.

17 June Rob Humphreys reports the Red Kite at Lower Frith again. It certainly seems well ensconced in this area at the moment. Later in the day, Rob then reported the same bird over Eardiston which was snapped on a camera phone by a friend who sent in this picture.

Inline images 1

Red Kite Photo : ???

14 June Ian Vanes sent in a couple of photos of the Spotted Flycatcher which has been nesting in his garden at Eardiston.

Spotted Flycatcher Photos : Ian Vanes

And yet more moths from Ken Willetts and Geoff Wookey. Geoff took this tiny Micro Moth 1133 Epinotia bilunana. This moth larvae feeds on birch, but this is an interesting record as it is a first record for the Teme Valley, never having been recorded here before.

1133 Epinotia bilunana photo : Geoff Wookey

Geoff also trapped this micro moth 994 Clepsis consimilana the larvae of which feed on Privet.

994 Clepsis consimilana photo : Geoff Wookey

Ken Willetts also had a good night moth trapping, with both Geoff Wookey and himself taking the tiny micro moth 246 Tinea semifulvella. Typically found in birds nests where old wool appears to be a food source for the larvae

246 Tinea semifulvella Photo : Ken Willetts

This bright orange flecked moth is 883 Mompha raschkiella. The larvae feed on Rosebay Willowherb, a common plant in the Teme Valley.

883 Mompha raschkiella Photo : Ken Willetts

This black and red moth is a common day flying moth which sometimes comes to light. This is the Cinnabar moth, whose caterpillars are often found on Ragwort plants.

Cinnabar moth Photo : Ken Willetts

Resembling blossom and using it as a camouflage, the Peach Blossom moth is a colourful species.

Peach Blossom Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

12 June Ken Willetts had another new moth species last night. This is the Yellow Shell moth which is usually a day flyer and can easily be disturbed from grasses and hedgerows.

Yellow Shell Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

11 June Mick King went in search of Goshawk in Mortimer Forest today and came away with a successful spot. He found a juvenile circling overhead in a clearing.

Geoff Wookey's pond continues to provide more and more wildlife habitat. The pool is just one year old and here are some of the damsel fly species which have found it already.

The Azure Damsel Fly photo : Geoff Wookey

The Large Red Damsel Fly photo : Geoff Wookey

The Blue Tailed Damsel Fly photo : Geoff Wookey

The Beautiful demoiselle photo : Geoff Wookey

10 June Rob Humphreys and Pete Stevens watched a Red Kite at Frith Common again today.

9 June Keith Holbrow saw a Red Kite on Oldwood Common today. At Sapey Common, Doh Gannon's partner Maurice has had a new bird in the garden. A Redstart.

8 June Rob Humphreys at Frith Common saw a Red Kite this afternoon. And Ken Willetts kept hearing a tap tap tap on his conservatory window. Over the last few days, he found the culprit. A young Magpie, probably seeing his reflection in the glass.

A young Magpie Photo : Ken Willetts

7 June David Patrick sent in this photo of a Mallard which landed in his garden pool, which displays interesting feather colouration.

Mallard Photo : David Patrick

Meantime over at Clifton, Roger & Simone Arnold took these two photographs. Both nocturnal animals photographed in day light. Must have set their clocks wrong. Wonderful !!!

A baby Badger - "Nobody told me I'm supposed to come out at night!!" Photo : Roger & Simone Arnold

Hedgehog foraging Photo : Roger & Simone Arnold

6 June Perhaps not so well known is that other insects apart from Moths are attracted to light at night. Wasps, Bees and Butterflies are all often found in a moth trap in the morning. Similarly, many beetle species are often found. This photo shows a Hornet that turned up in Ken Willetts trap at Highwood.

Hornet Photo : Ken Willetts

5 June Another new moth for Ken Willetts. This time it is the stunning Ghost Moth. The female (shown here) is an Orange colour whilst the male is pure white. On a warm evening, the males can be seen 'dancing' over long grasses where the females are located, sending out pheromones to attract the males to mate. This dancing of these ghostly white insects over the long grass is where the victorian name for this species comes from.

Female Ghost Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

4 June At Boraston in Geoff Wookey's light trap, an Orange Footman moth came in last night. These were once quite scarce in Worcs but over the last few years are being seen more and more. Geoff also heard the Cuckoo from his garden.

The Orange Footman Moth photo : Geoff Wookey

2 June Some more new moth species from Ken Willetts trap over the last two nights. It's been relatively warm at night and some amazing moths came to Ken's light trap. These photos really do show the diversity of shapes and sizes and emphasizes the camouflage ability of some of these species.

Common Marbled Carpet Moth Photo: Ken Willetts

Beautiful Golden Y Moth Photo: Ken Willetts

Scorched Wing Moth Photo: Ken Willetts


                                                                                     Alder Moth                                               Photo: Ken Willetts


                                               Looking like a broken silver birch twig, the Buff Tip Moth                    Photo: Ken Willetts

31 May Some great photos in today. Roger & Simone Arnold sent in this stunning yet very scary photo of a spider they found in the garden. Looks like it should be on some horror movie poster!


                                                                               Garden Spider                                           Photo : Roger & Simone Arnold

Then Ken Willetts at Highwood sent in this photo of a Lime Hawk Moth. Not too common in the Teme Valley as the larvae feed on Lime Trees. One or two are recorded each year in the area. But this is a new species for Ken's garden patch.


                                                                                  Lime Hawk Moth                                             Photo: Ken Willetts

And over at Boraston, Geoff Wookey has had an awful day!! He pulled the curtains back this morning only to see a Red Kite over the garden again. Geoff watched it for about 20 minutes! Then later in the day, the Spotted Flycatcher pictured below came by and posed for the camera. And finally a Linnet came down into the garden pond to have a wash. That is three pretty impressive garden birds Geoff !


                                                        A Spotted Flycatcher posing for the camera                              photo : Geoff Wookey


                                              A Linnet taking its daily ablutions in the pond                                     photo : Geoff Wookey

29 May At Brimfield, Rosemary Collie is continuing to hear the Cuckoo after more than a week, so it definitely looks as though it is a male that has set up a territory locally.

Its clear to see why this species of Woodlouse is sometimes called the Pill Bug. In times of stress, it defends itself by curling up in to a 'pill' displaying is armour to the world. The second photo shows two ladybirds on a flower head. Both photos from John Abbiss whilst out in his garden. John also reports seeing a Polecat today in broad daylight near to Burford nursery.


                                                                                         Pill Bug                                                        Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                                           Ladybirds                                                 Photo : John Abbiss

28 May Having carried out some major work on his house over the winter, Geoff Wookey over at Boraston was a little concerned that the House Martins he had last year wouldn't come back. So he was relieved to take this photo showing them sorting out the domestic arrangements for this year. Geoff has also been fortunate of late, in so far as the Red Kite seems to like cruising just over his garden. More great photos Geoff.


                                                                                         House Martins                              photo : Geoff Wookey


                                                                                             Red Kite                                              photo : Geoff Wookey

27 May Whilst walking the dog at Oldwood Common, David Patrick heard a Cuckoo on the Bockleton side of the Common. And a little further up the road at Sutton, Barrie Elding heard another Cuckoo on the Gold Course. Barrie also reports that his Robin, which made a nest in his shed at Menith Wood has now successfully had a second brood of fledglings this year.

Faye Pritchard sent in this great photo of a Broad Bodied Chaser from her garden. (Thanks to Mike Averill for ID Confirmation)


                                                                          Broad Bodied Chaser Dragonfly                                Photo: Faye Pritchard

26 May Caroline Roseman at Lower Rochford has had Swifts and House Martins around the house today. And over at Oldwood Common, John Abbiss saw a Red Kite over the edge of the Common.

25 May Suzanne Thomas heard a Cuckoo at her house on the Titterstone Clee today. She also reports that she is seeing more Yellow Hammers about than in past recent years. Good News!

24 May Faye Pritchard awoke to find this Cockchafer on her door jam. Sometimes known as the Maybug. There have not been too many around this year in this area.


                                                                                       Cockchafer                                                  Photo: Faye Pritchard

23 May At Highwood, more new Moth species in last night for Ken Willetts. The Twenty Plume moth is a micro moth that can turn up at virtually any time of year. This is quite a worn example. The second moth is a great photograph of the Small Phoenix moth. The larvae of this moth feed on Rosebay Willowherb, a common species of plant found in the Teme Valley. The Flame Carpet is a colourful small macro moth, but little is known about the life cycle. It has been bred out on members of the Cabbage family in captivity, but in the wild, the exact food plant is still unknown. The Clouded Silver moth is common in this area owing to the vast amount of food plants available., The larvae feed on Hawthorn, Blackthorn and Cherry to name but a few plant species common to this area.


                                                                             Twenty Plume Moth                                                 Photo: Ken Willetts


                                                                                    Small Phoenix Moth                                          Photo: Ken Willetts


                                                                                     Flame Carpet Moth                                           Photo: Ken Willetts


                                                                                Clouded Silver Moth                                              Photo: Ken Willetts

22 May At Brimfield,Rosemary Collie has the Cuckoo again for a fourth day. Looks like it setting up a territory.

Over at Knighton on Teme, the result of Richard Pill's wildlife friendly gardening approach can be seen. Hedgehog and new born Pheasant chicks.


                                                                                       Hedgehog                                                      Photo : Richard Pill


                                                                           Pheasant and Chicks                                                  Photo : Richard Pill

22 May At Brimfield, Rosemary Collie has heard the Cuckoo again today. Twice in two days....will it stay in the area? At Highwood, Ken Willetts had quite a scarce moth in his trap over night. The Silver Cloud moth is a nationally quite scarce species although in the Severn and Wye Valleys it does do quite well. It has been well reported also in the Teme Valley, which also sees a strong population.


                                                                                Silver Cloud Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

At John Abbiss's house at Oldwood Common, John sent in this photo of a Large Red Damselfly taken on his garden pond.


                                                                        Large Red Damselfly        Photo : John Abbiss

21 May A Day for the Cuckoo's. Alice Hughes heard a Cuckoo at Eastham this morning and Michael Harley reports hearing a Cuckoo at Menith Wood four times today. Also at Stockton on Teme, Bill Spice heard a Cuckoo close by to his house.

Charlotte Hughes at Hillwood Farm had to rescue a Female Sparrowhawk that had become trapped in a barn chasing Swallows!

Female Sparrowhawk Photo : Charlotte Hughes

20 May Andrew Palmer was driving along the Tenbury / Cleobury road this evening, when just past the Boraston turn, he spotted a Polecat crossing the road. Great record!

David Faulkner sent in some interesting bird records. He's had a female Redstart in the garden a few days ago, A Mandarin duck on the stream adjacent to his house and a Spotted Flycatcher.

Rosemary Collie heard a Cuckoo on the ridge at Brimfield this morning and another bird was also heard by Liz & Peter Gillard at Kyre. They also report a Mandarin Duck on their stream.

18 May Brian Marsh has had a Spotted Flycatcher in his Stockton on Teme garden today. This is the first for a few years. And over on the Highwood, more spectacular Moth species coming into Ken Willetts moth trap over night, including two stunning Hawk Moth species. The Poplar Hawk is by far the most common of the Hawk Moths we get in the Teme Valley. The Eyed Hawk moth is far less common, but always a nice moth to see.

Eyed Hawk Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

Poplar Hawk Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

Pepper Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

Nut Tree Tussock Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

17 May Another new moth for Ken Willetts at Highwood. This time the Muslin Moth so named as it has the appearance of a fine muslin.

Muslin Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

16 May A couple of remarkable photos have been sent in by Bill & Cherlye Spice from Stockton. These bees came in over Cherlye's head whilst gardening, landed in a tree and started to swarm The sound was amazing. Presumably a new Queen was out and about.

Bees Swarming Photos : Bill &Cherlye Spice

14 May A good number of reports & sightings in today. Chris & Jenny Rodgers at Stoke Bliss report a Red Kite over their house this afternoon. They also report Siskin on their feeders which have been in very scarce this year. (The Siskin...not the feeders!) And their Swallows are back, having taken a longer time than usual to return this year.

Ian Vanes and Charlotte Hughes both report Swifts back in the area. Although independent reports, they come from almost directly opposite sides of the river...so may have been the same birds.

Rosemary Burton emailed to say that she heard a Cuckoo from the Shavers End Quarry end of the Abberley Hills today. We wonder if this is a second male bird on the hills there, or the same bird as being heard by Diana & Ian at the other end, with it just moving up & down the woodland ridge. Keep your records from this area coming in and we will see if we can establish if we have one or two birds present.

At Clifton on Teme, Simone & Roger Arnold took these photos of four Starling fledglings taking their first bath in their garden pond.

Starling Fledglings Photos : Simone & Roger Arnold

At Highwood, moth trapping has been hard work this year with numbers and species of moths being at an all time low. Even the usual common beetle species that turn up in the traps over night are in very short supply. One such species which is usually very common is the Cockchafer beetle. This year however, even this is scarce, although Ken Willetts did trap one and photograph it last night. Nice photo Ken!

Cockchafer beetle Photo : Ken Willetts

Perhaps more importantly, Ken did trap a moth which is not often recorded in Worcestershire, and has not been recorded in the Teme Valley before. This is the Camomile Shark Moth. There is a very similar species...The Shark...but the Camomile Shark is differentiated by the black stripes on the wing running all the way through into the pale fringe as seen on the second photo below. (For reference, The Shark, also has black stripes, but they stop short of the pale fringe). This is a really goods record for the County.

Camomile Shark Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

The diagnostic fringe pattern of the Camomile Shark Moth Photo : Ken Willetts

13 May Today at Hillwood, Charlotte & Jeremy Hughes had a Red Kite over their farm. The same one Geoff photographed yesterday?

Also today, Nick Birkin sent in this nice photo of a White Tailed Bumblebee in flight

A White Tailed Bumblebee Photo : Nick Birkin

Over at Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold had this Holly Blue Butterfly in the garden, making the most of the glorious sunshine we had today.

Holly Blue Butterfly Photo : Danny Arnold

12 May The Abberley Hill Cuckoo is still around. Heard by Diana Parkin this morning.

After a hard days gardening at his home in Boraston, Geoff Wookey sat down with a beer in hand, when over the hedge, popped a Red Kite. Dashing to get a Camera, Geoff took these amazing pictures of the bird being harassed by a Jackdaw, amongst other Corvids.

A Red Kite being mobbed by Corvids at Boraston All photos : Geoff Wookey

11 May Three Cuckoo reports have come in today, two from different areas, and one possibly the same bird, so clearly at least two different birds. The first from Oldwood Common calling at 7:30am this morning and a second report from David Patrick at Haresbrook, which might be the same bird? The other report came in from Ian & Diana Parkin at Abberley where there seems to be another resident bird.

Chris Mussell saw a Red Kite at Rochford today, being mobbed by the local Corvid population. Chris also reports three pairs of Swallows are back at his house at Stanford Bridge.

This evening as the light was fading, John Abbiss saw three birds flying down the Teme Valley. John says that he thinks they were White Storks, which given the posts recently, could well be that case!

Robin Dean at Eardiston sent in this photo of dozens of snails climbing up old nettle stalks. Robin says there were 3 or 4 per stalk in the evening, yet bizarrely, the following day they were gone. We asked Harry Green about this, who replied with : I am pretty sure they are Brown-lipped Hedge Snails Cepaea nemoralis. This happens at times. They climb up in damp weather often at night and then stay there for the day returning down at night, especially if conditions are drying out. Can be spectacular as the picture shows

Brown-lipped Hedge Snails Photo : Robin Dean

At Highwood, Ken Willetts trapped another new moth species in his garden. This time it is the Lunar Marbled Brown. The moth lays its eggs on Oak.


                                                                               Lunar Marbled Brown                                            Photo : Ken Willetts

10 May At Lower Rochford Caroline Roseman took a photo of this Green winged Orchid growing in one of her fields. A stunning photo Caroline. Update : This orchid ID was confirmed by Harry Green and Micheal Liley of the WWT. Many Thanks.

It is also a 'first record' for the Teme Valley and indeed this 10km tatrad.


                                                                                Green winged Orchid            Photo : Caroline Roseman

9 May How cute can you get? Rachel Packard has been out in her Boraston garden today and taken this lovely photo of a newly fledged Long Tailed Tit. Great Photo Rachel!


                                                                                Long Tailed Tit Fledgling              Photo : Rachel Packard

Also at Boraston, Geoff Wookey trapped over night this Great Prominent Moth. A rather impressive sized moth with large hairy legs!


                                                                              Great Prominent Moth                                        Photo : Geoff Wookey

And on the opposite side of the Valley at Highwood, Ken Willetts trapped this tiny micro moth...the Diamond Back Moth, only measuring about 13 - 15mm, it is all the more impressive as it is a migrant from abroad, although fairly common.


                                                                 464 Diamond-back Moth Plutella xylostella                          Photo : Ken Willetts

And at Wolferlow, Stuart Smith has had Swifts back overhead today.

8 May Some great Bird records coming into today. Doh Gannon emailed to say that the Cuckoo she heard at Sapey Common is still around after two weeks.

Ian Vanes at Eardiston emailed to say that his pair of Spotted Flycatchers which seem to return every year are back and nest building. Ian fears however that the Goldcrest nest he had in the garden has been predated by Jays.

At Knightwick on Teme Tim Studer had his first Swifts of the year back today, about 20 soaring over head.

On Highwood, Ken Willetts sent in this photo of a tiny micro moth he trapped last night. With no vernacular English name, it goes by the latin name of Incurvaria masculella The larvae feed on many deciduous trees but especially hawthorn. The moth is only 12 - 16mm in length and this particular moth is a male as it has the large pectinate (comb-like) antenna which is used to track down the pheromones given off by the female.


                                                                                    130 Incurvaria masculella                                 Photo : Ken Willetts

7 May John Abbiss reports his first sightings this year of House Martins being back over Oldwood Common . Meantime at Boraston, Geoff Wookey saw a pair of Redstart on his early morning walk with the dog around his patch.

6 May Tim Studer reports a Cuckoo calling at the Kingswood area of Martley this evening...Nick & Sheila Benbow heard the resident Cuckoo at Frith Common today.....and Steph Mocroft saw a Red Kite at Brampton Bryan today.

Rachel Packard at Boraston has had a Blackbird building a nest in the garden during the last week in April....She managed to get a couple of photos without disturbing the birds...which all appeared to fledge safely.


                                                                             The Eggs ready to Hatch.......                             Photo : Rachel Packard


                                                                        .....and three days later .......                                    Photo : Rachel Packard

And also at Boraston, Geoff Wookey sent in these photos of Wildlife from his Garden.


                                                                                         Goldfinch                                                   Photo : Geoff Wookey


                                                                                             Robin                                                    Photo : Geoff Wookey


                                                                                          Great Tit                                                   Photo : Geoff Wookey


                                                     Marsh Marigold ....self seeded in the new pond                          Photo : Geoff Wookey


                                                                               This is My House!                                                Photo : Geoff Wookey

5 May Caroline Roseman saw a Mink on the Lower Rochford road tonight and also saw several Skylark this afternoon by the Bricklayers cottages.

Julia Cooper emailed to say that her Sister had heard a Cuckoo near Dumbleton Farm near Frith Common today. This may well be the same bird as heard by Pete Stevens on 1st May?...indicating the bird may be staying in the area.

Another first Cuckoo of the year at Wolferlow for Stuart Smith today...compared with April 9th in 2011. Almost a month late coming back! Stuart also reports 5 Swifts over the Salway Arms pub today.

Meantime, Ken Willetts found this day flying moth in his Orchard. Its one of the Long Horn group of micro moths, named owing to their exceedingly long antennae. This is a relatively common species 150 Adela reaumurella


                                                                         150 Adela reaumurella                                  Photo : Ken Willetts

4 May Two Cuckoos heard today. One by Alastair Hardy over at Woonton and the other my Michael Harley at Menith Wood. This Menith Wood bird is possibly the same bird as reported on the 26th April. Good confirmation it is staying in the area.

Meantime, at Boraston, Geoff Wookey is the first to report Swifts back in the Valley. He had four over his house today.

3 May Unfortunately no photographs, but Geoff Wookey trapped 247 Tinea trinotella and 476 Acrolepia autumnitella two nice but very small Micro moths in his trap at Boraston last night.

Chris Kemble had her first Cuckoo at Knighton on Teme today. And at Stockton, Cheryle Spice also had her first Cuckoo of the year. Bill, her husband also sent in this photo of Toothwort found growing at Menithwood, at the base of a large Silver Birch. Bill says its a parasitic plant that lives on the root system and which does not contain chlorophyll.


                                                                                         Toothwort                                                       Photo : Bill Spice

2 May On Dumbleton Lane, Eardiston, Sue Watton emailed to say that she heard a Cuckoo today in that area.

At Highwood, Ken Willetts trapped this rather nice White Shouldered House Moth.


                                                           White Shouldered House Moth                                Photo : Ken Willetts

1 May Ian Vanes at Eardiston has his House Martins back today, just a day after the birds arrived back at Boraston. Ian says that they usually come back around the 20th April, so this year, they are a little late. Over at Stockton, Brian Marsh had his first Swallows of the year back, and at a wood just below Lower Frith, Pete Stevens reported his first Cuckoo of the year. All great records.

30 April On the Bird front today, Geoff Wookey at Boraston had his first House Martins back. Having had some work done on his house this winter, he hopes the birds will re-establish their nest sites under the eaves. Geoff also reports good numbers and sightings of Yellowhammers in the hedgerows, which is very encouraging and is also hearing Skylark regularly in the fields that surround his house.

Over at Wolferlow, Stuart Smith reports having had a Male Wheatear, Male Redstart and a Whitethroat in his field today.

And a sight we haven't seen for a few months, the River Teme carrying a bit of extra water. Water levels have been so low this winter that this extra water really is something different. The photo was taken by Jo Sothers at Little Hereford.


                                                             River Teme in Spate at Little Hereford                                              Photo : Jo Sothers

28 April Andrew Palmer had a Red Kite over his Garden at Milsom today. It was being seen off by some aggressive Corvids.

27 April Another member of the Prominent Moth Group for Ken Willetts last night at his Highwood trap. This time a Pebble Prominent Moth. Relatively abundant in the Teme Valley and quite a large moth, its always nice to see this for the first time.


                                                                           Pebble Prominent Moth                                                Photo : Ken Willetts

And Mrs Dallow had her daughter email in to say that she had heard her first Cuckoo of the year at Newnham Bridge today.

26 April Keith Edney emailed to say he heard his first Cuckoo of the year near to the Cross Keys pub at Menith Wood today.

At Highwood, just days after taking its "big brother" (see 14th) Ken Willetts trapped a Lesser Swallow Prominent Moth last night. Another new record for his garden.


                                                                            Lesser Swallow Prominent Moth                                 Photo : Ken Willetts

25 April Light Moth traps do not always just attract moths. Occasionally, other insects are attracted to the light. On this occasion, Danny Arnold at Upper Rochford had this tiny beetle come in over night on the 24th May. Measuring just 5.5mm in length, it goes by the name of Megatoma undata. Its a nice record for the site as it is a 'Notable B' species indicating a degree of rarity. The beetle feeds on pollen, typically of Cherry trees, which are incidentally, adjacent to where it was trapped. Thanks to Harry Green and John Micklejohn for the positive ID.


                                                                               Megatoma undata                       Photo : Danny Arnold

24 April Margaret Bradley has heard her first Cuckoo of the year at her farm at Knighton on Teme. Meantime a little further up the Valley at Boraston, Geoff Wookey trapped this nice little Micro Moth Esperia Sulphurella. Its larvae feed on rotting wood.


                                                                                649 Esperia sulphurella                               Photo : Geoff Wookey

23 April Mike Williams has given us permission to post the Stork Pictures....so we have inserted them here as it is about the time we got the story. Incredible photos taken from his tractor as he worked on a field in Abberley. Many Thanks for allowing to post these photos Mike.


                                                                        White Stork on a field in Abberley                           All Photos : Mike Williams

Also today, New in for Ken Willetts on Highwood was this Streamer Moth to his Moth trap. Given its name by the Victorians from the Streamer type pattern on its wings.


                                                                                              Streamer Moth                                        Photos : Ken Willetts

22 April Mike Southall emailed some incredible pictures taken by Mike Williams on his phone camera of nine White Stork which landed in a field which he was ploughing in Abberley. Interestingly, Simone and Roger Arnold had sent in a email on the 6th April saying they thought they had seen two White Stork flying over head at Upper Rochford. We cant publish the photos at present, but will do as soon as we get consent.

Meanwhile up at Wolferlow, Stuart Smith was out on a walk and had four Redstarts, seven Blackcaps, two Linnets, seven Chiffchaffs, one Willow Warbler and a regular passage of Swallows taking place.

And Chris Peacock had some tubes of over wintering Masonry bees emptying today. Also had Greenfinch in the garden, a "first" for a couple of years.

21 April John Abbiss sent in these two photos of an Orange Tip Butterfly he found on Oldwood Common. They show clearly the enormous difference between the upper and lower side of the wings.


                                                              Orange Tip Butterfly - Upper side of wing                               Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                   Orange Tip Butterfly - Underside of wing                          Photo : John Abbiss

20 April At his farm just outside Leominster David Norsworthy had a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker in the Orchard today. A bird in serious decline and a great record anywhere.

On the eastern side of Eastham, Ed Scholefield had his first Swallows of the year back yesterday.

Ken Willetts sent in this photo of a 'new' moth species to his trap. Its a good record as these moths do not readily come to light. It is the Mullein moth, the larvae of which are white yellow and black caterpillars, which unlike the adult can usually easily be found on the Mullein plant.



                                                                                     Mullein Moth                                                    Photos : Ken Willetts

Ken also trapped this Yellow Barred Brindle moth, a non too common species in the Teme Valley.


                                                                                    Yellow Barred Brindle                             Moth Photos : Ken Willetts

19 April Simone & Roger Arnold heard a Cuckoo in the area around Kenelm church at Clifton this morning. Doh Gannon emailed to say that her partner heard a Cuckoo a couple of days ago at Sapey Common. And another (or possibly the same bird), Amy Jones heard one on the Hanley Childe / Stoke Bliss border today.

At Knighton on Teme, Margaret Bradley had a Red Kite over the house today.

And Richard Pill sent in this photo of a Dipper taken on the Downton Gorge walk last week.


                                                                                            Dipper                                                        Photo: Richard Pill

18 April Ken Willetts took the opportunity of the nice weather over the last few days to photograph the Rape Seed field on the Highwood. It looks over towards the Clee.


                                                                 Stunning Rape Seed fields at Highwood                             Photo : Ken Willetts

17 April Danny Arnold had his first Swallow of the year, in the air over at Highwood this afternoon. Meantime, two cracking photographs taken on the Clee Hill by local birder Dave Barnes came in by email . Both birds come back here for the Summer and they will be seen on the Clee for the next five months or so. The Wheatear and Stonechat. Incidentally, you will see that Dave is giving our November indoor meeting talk on Bird photography, so this is definitely one for the diary!


                                                                    Northern Wheatear                    Photo : Dave Barnes


                                                                        European Stonechat               Photo : Dave Barnes

16 April Yesterday afternoon saw the monthly walks program take the Group to Downton Gorge. The day and site was stunning as made testament to, by these photographs taken by Alastair Hardy, the Group's walks coordinator.






                                                                                           Downton Gorge             All photos : Alastair Hardy

15 April Having just restocked his pool with fish after the previous occupants had been taken by an Otter, Ken Willetts was not pleased to see this fish raider taking off over head. Good photo though Ken !!


                                                                                         Heron in flight                                            Photo : Ken Willetts

Chris Mussell had a pair of Swallows at his house in Stanford today. First ones for the year. He also had a Buzzard digging worms in the Orchard.

14 April Geoff Wookey at Boraston had his first Swallows back for the year. Geoff reports four over the house today.

Yet another first for Ken Willetts moth trap. This time it is a moth by the name of Swallow Prominent. There is also a Lesser Swallow Prominent which is very similar, only really separated by the wedge marked (A) being more 'squat' and the Oval marked (B) being shorter on the Lesser Swallow Prominent.


                                                                             Swallow Prominent Moth                                             Photo : Ken Willetts

13 April Over at Wolferlow, Stuart Smith emailed to say that he has now had a Wheatear, eleven Meadow Pipets, three Pied Wagtails and just one Swallow on his field today. And another first for Ken Willetts moth trap on Highwood, this pristine example of the moth Brindled Beauty.


                                                                                   Brindled Beauty Moth                                           Photo : Ken Willetts

12 April One of the latest of the Orthosia species to emerge in spring, this pristine Powdered Quaker came to the light trap of Ken Willetts on the Highwood last night.


                                                                                Powdered Quaker Moth                                         Photo : Ken Willetts

10 April Caroline Roseman had the Red Kite over her drive today at Lower Rochford. On Oldwood Common John Abbiss has cleared away a small patch of bracken to give this Meadow Saffron a chance to come through. Should be a good show in a week or so. John also sent in this photo of Wood Anemone out on the Common.


                                                                                     Meadow saffron                                                  Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                                     Wood anemone                                            Photo : John Abbiss

8 April David Hambleton emailed this picture of bees coming out of a weep hole in some brick work at his home in Upper Rochford. After contacting the County bee specialist he suggested that they are an early emerging bee species that lives in colonies called Andrena scotica


                                                                                      Andrena scotica                                      Photo : David Hambleton

7 April Roger Hunstone heard his first Cuckoo today near to Martley Church.

5 April Chris Mussell emailed to say the Yellowhammer was back feeding in the garden today, no worse for its encounter with the patio door. He also mentioned that he saw the Red Kite flying up towards Highwood at 5:30pm.

Around 6pm, Ken Willetts on the Highwood encountered the Kite and took these pictures of the bird over his house.


                                                                                                Red Kite                                                    Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                             Red Kite                                                        Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                              Red Kite                                                    Photo : Ken Willetts

4 April Ken Willetts on the Highwood at Eastham has had his camera out again.... A couple of nice garden bird photos and a tiny moth he trapped yesterday in his moth trap. The moth Ypsolopha ustella is fairly common at this time of year, but does come in a variety of forms which does make the ID difficult on occasions. This stripy form however is relatively the norm.


                                                                                  461 Ypsolopha ustella                                             Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                             Goldfinch                                                       Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                                    Greenfinch                                       Photo : Ken Willetts

Meantime Brian Marsh at Eardiston found a very long thin worm in the mud of his garden pool. Brian later ID'd it as a Horsehair Worm [Gordius Species].

And then there is this amazing story from Chris Mussell at Stanford who says " I have been seeing a Yellowhammer in my garden feeding under the bird table for a few weeks and got 3 photos of it on the lawn. Then yesterday evening there was a thud of a bird hitting our back doors , and there was the poor yellowhammer on the patio very stunned. I put it on the bird table where it sat for about 30 minutes slowly recovering and allowing me to take the attached photos of this beautiful and fairly rare visitor to my garden".

Chris sent in several shots of this bird which I am pleased to say made a full recovery, as Chris emailed the following day to say it was back feeding on the lawn again.


                                                                                          Yellowhammer                                             Photo : Chris Mussell


                                                                                            Yellowhammer                                          Photo : Chris Mussell

3 April Danny Arnold had an almost unbelievable bird sighting yesterday. Whilst photographing a Tawny Owl which was resting in a conifer in broad day light, his attention was drawn to a bird circling high over head over the house at Upper Rochford. It was a male Hen Harrier, one of the rarest birds in England and one hardly ever seen in Worcestershire. An amazing sighting!


                                                                            Tawny Owl resting up                                            Photo : Danny Arnold


                                                                               Male Hen Harrier overhead                        Photo : Danny Arnold

Located in the top of a box hedge on a path way in her garden at Boraston, this Dunnock's nest was found by Rachel Packard


                                                                                             Dunnock's Nest                                    Photo : Rachel Packard

2 April Mick King one of our local postmen took a walk through Mortimer Forest today and came across two Crossbill. They are present in the forest, though seldom seen. Mick says he had a great view of them today. One of the few places where these birds can be seen locally.

At Boraston, Geoff Wookey had a pair of Stock Doves using his garden pool as a drinking point today. There are also a pair of Mallard that have made the pool home as well.

1 April At Upper Rochford at Hilltop, a Red Kite was seen this afternoon.

31 March Margaret Bradley, at her farm in Knighton on Teme, had a Swallow sighting this morning. Another Swallow sighting was made by Sandra Willmott at Lower Rochford. And yet a third Swallow sighting was made by John Abbiss over Oldwood Common. He also sent in these two pictures of insects found on the Common.


                                                                                       LaceWing                                                  Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                                            Alder Fly                                                      Photo : John Abbiss

Dave Baynton up from Bristol and staying with family this weekend, took the opportunity to photograph this Nuthatch making a nest in a Cherry Tree at Upper Rochford. Note that the hole has been partially sealed up with mud to reduce its opening aperture size.


                                                                                                Nuthatch                                          Photo : Dave Baynton

30 March Pete Thorp saw two Lapwing in the field by his House at Woodston and tried photographing them. If you have ever tried photographing Lapwing in flight, you will know how difficult these shots were to get.



                                                                                     Lapwing in flight                     Photos : Pete Thorp

At Highwood, another moth for Ken Willetts and this time it is a very important record not just for the Teme Valley but also for Worcestershire. This moth is called The Tissue and there are less than fifty records for it ever in Worcestershire. It has been recorded once before in the Teme Valley back in 2008 just down the road at Danny Arnold's light traps at Upper Rochford, which was in fact, the last time this moth was recorded in the County. Danny also had a tree bumblebee fly into his Kitchen today, just a couple of days after Chris Peacock reported one.


                                                                                         The Tissue Moth                                         Photo : Ken Willetts

29 March Ken Willetts adds yet another moth species to his ever increasing moth list for his garden at Highwood, this time the Frosted Green moth.


                                                                                            Frosted Green Moth                                   Photo : Ken Willetts

28 March Chris Peacock recognised a Tree Bumblebee in a nest box in his garden. This species of bee was first found in the UK from the Continent in 2001. Since then, it has been spreading northwards. There are a few records for both Worcestershire and Herefordshire, but we are very interested in any new sightings as trends indicate it should be with us in good numbers this year. It has an orange thorax, Black Body with a white bottom. Very distinctive. If you see one, let us know.

At Great Witley, on a piece of their land, Sallyann Williams managed to just get a photo of this relative rarity. A Yellowhammer. A bird rarely seen nowadays.


                                                                                                Yellowhammer                                Photo : Sallyann Williams

27 March Alastair Hardy reports a sighting of a Red Kite over at Woonton near Leysters. This was also witnessed by the local postman and four others during the previous five days.

At Stoke Bliss, Chris & Jenny Rodgers were impressed to find that there new pool dug last year already supports all three species of UK Newt. This ties in well with the pool survey carried out last year when another pool not too from from this pool was also found to support all three Newt species. Also found in the pool was this Caddis fly larvae which had made its protective home from a mass of pine needles.


                                                                        Caddis Larvae in a pine needle 'house'                         Photo : Chris Rodgers

Stuart Smith at Wolferlow has had Peacock and Small Tortioshell butterflies in the garden today and also found this over wintering Angle Shades Moth in the Greenhouse.


                                                        Master of Camouflage, the Angle Shades Moth                              Photo : Stuart Smith

At Frith Common, Barrie Elding went out to the tool shed and found this Robins nest in a hanging carrier bag.



                                                                                            Robins Nest                                          Photos : Barrie Elding

26 March At Pensax, Tim Studer was thrilled to watch a Red Kite performing ariel acrobatics with what looked to be a vole. Tim says the bird was flying up in the air with its prey, dropping it, then swooping down to re catch it in mid air. This went on for about 15 minutes. Amazing!

25 March At Wolferlow, Stuart Smith had three Curlew and a flock of 100 plus Fieldfare on his patch, and Still on the bird front, Nick Benbow had the first Chiffchaff's in Hunthouse Wood today.

Meantime, in the moth trap run by Ken Willetts at Highwood, The Water Carpet and Early Tooth Stripe moths were new to his garden records.


                                                                              Water Carpet Moth                                                 Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                 Early Tooth Stripe Moth                                        Photo : Ken Willetts

23 March Traveling back from Tenbury via Lindridge, Phil Morgan saw a Red Kite along side the road. At Wolferlow Stuart Smith had his first Chiffchaff of the year.

22 March Whilst out walking at Coreley today Geoff Wookey heard his first Chiffchaff of the year. He also sent in this photo of his first butterfly in the garden which was this Small Tortoiseshell enjoying the newly opened up heather flowers.


                                                                                     Small Tortoiseshell                                         Photo : Geoff Wookey

21 March At Boraston as well, Rachel Packard photographed this Comma Butterfly in the garden. Rachel also had a Lesser Redpoll on her bird feeders and being just down the road from Geoff, looks like a flock of these birds moved into the area over the past 24 hours.


                                                                                        Comma Butterfly                                       Photo : Rachel Packard

20 March At Lindridge along side the River, Brian Marsh had a Curlew warbling today. There definitely seems to be more Curlew and Lapwing about this year which is very encouraging for the farm land bird population.

Between Eastham and Orelton Dean Fenton saw a Brown Hare along the road side. Again, there appear to be more hare about this year too.

And Geoff Wookey at Boraston took these photos of Lesser Redpoll on his bird feeders.


                                                                                           Lesser Redpoll                                         Photo : Geoff Wookey


                                                                                            Lesser Redpoll                                        Photo : Geoff Wookey

14 March At Birchfield, Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold had his first Chiffchaff of the year in the dingle.

12 March At Wolferlow, Stuart Smith has seen Curlew and Stonechat on his patch this week, as well as a Cormorant flying over. At Hillwood, Jeremy Hughes saw two Red Kite going over just moments apart. And meantime, at Boraston, Geoff Wookey had his first Siskin in the garden and also a small green tortrix moth 1061 Acleris literana. On Highwood, Ken Willetts also had this tiny moth in his trap as well, which is an inhabitant of Oak Woodland traditionally, although clearly it is present in areas where there are single mature Oak trees.


                                                                            Siskin on the Niger seed                                         Photo : Geoff Wookey


                                                                                   1061 Acleris literana                                           Photo : Ken Willetts

11 March Today saw the first of our outdoor events for 2012 which was a walk led by Dr Steph Mocroft along the River Rea Valley at Cleobury. A beautiful day for the walk meant a good turn out of people with almost 30 people attending.


                                                                           Crossing the River Rea                                     Photo : Ian & Diana Parkin


                                                                   On the hill looking over Cleobury                            Photo : Ian & Diana Parkin


                                                                     Another Crossing point on the River Rea                           Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                                        A small incline                                              Photo : John Abbiss

Tim Studer had Small Tortoiseshell and a Peacock butterflies in the garden today.

10 March At Eastham this afternoon Ed Scholefield saw a Red Kite flying over the River. Good to see these Red Kite records coming in.

9 March On the Highwood Ken Willetts light trapped these two species of moth. The first is a plume moth 1498 Amblyptilia punctidactyla the larvae of which, feed on the seeds of Hedge Woundwort and other herbaceous plants.

The second moth is Dotted Chestnut. This is a great record. It has been recorded in the Teme Valley at Upper Rochford before, but its a new garden record for Ken and adds to the Worcestershire data base, another record for this non too common species.


                                                                  1498 Amblyptilia punctidactyla                                              Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                    Dotted Chestnut                                                Photo : Ken Willetts

8 March At Eardiston, Rob Humphreys had three Lesser Redpoll in the garden today. A good record as there have not been too many reported this year in the Teme Valley.

7 March A common species of moth, this Twin Spot Quaker is one of a few Orthosia moths flying at this time of year. Trapped by Ken Willetts on the Highwood


                                                                                    Twin Spot Quaker                                              Photo : Ken Willetts

6 March A Red Kite was seen at Hilltop by Ian & Diana Parkin this lunch time. Also over at Stoke Bliss, two Red Kite were seen being mobbed by a Buzzard.

5 March Possibly a very early Cuckoo back...Tim Studer saw a bird fly past him whilst out on his bike at Peghouse Wood Martley. Anybody else seen or heard one yet?

2 March Spring really has 'sprung'. Brian Marsh reports a Small Tortoishell butterfly in the garden and about 30 Frogs in his garden pond. The Red Kite was spotted at Boraston by Geoff Wookey this afternoon.

1 March John Abbiss from up at Oldwood Common sent in a couple of photos to show that spring is certainly with us. Catkins are out and butterflies like this Peacock have started to appear. There have also been some verbal reports of Small Tortoishell butterflies being seen.


                                                                                    Catkins                     Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                                   Peacock Butterfly                                                 Photo : John Abbiss

Geoff Wookey had a trail camera out to get this photo of a Kestrel washing in his garden pond.


                                                                               Kestrel having a morning wash                            Photo : Geoff Wookey

Francis Peplow reports seeing a Red Kite in the Eastham area and also a Goosander flying down stream on the Teme.

29 February Highwood saw Ken Willetts capture this photograph of a Brambling. Not too many about this year, so a nice garden record.


                                                                                                Brambling                                            Photo : Ken Willetts

Meantime, Stuart Smith at Wolferlow saw some moss sticking out of an old Owl box. The camera trap caught the inhabitants, a Tawny Owl nest building.


                                                                                               Tawny Owl                                             Photo : Stuart Smith

This small Micro moth came into the light traps at Upper Rochford over night. 695 Agonopterix alstromeriana comes fairly readily to light, although it was only recorded twice in the Teme Valley last year...and there are only three records from the Teme Valley ever. The larvae feed on the flowers and leaves of Hemlock.


                                                                        695 Agonopterix alstromeriana                                    Photo : Danny Arnold

28 February At Boraston, Geoff Wookey reports having ten Frogs croaking away in his pond, and also spotted two Smooth Newts.

27 February New Common Bird Survey recorder Stuart Smith from Wolferlow reports 55 species of bird on his patch in February so far. Highlights include Peregrine, 2 Little owls, 2 Redpoll and a Goldcrest. Great Records Stuart.

26 February Chris Mussell from Broadheath brought some logs in for burning from outside. A few days later, out emerged this beetle. Chris believes it to be a Long Horned Beetle - Pyrrhidium Sanguineum from the family : Cerambycidae class : Hexapoda


                                                                             Long Horned Beetle                                                Photo : Chris Mussell

At Mamble this evening, a Barn Owl was seen by Chris Peacock's wife and earlier in the day, they saw Kingfisher, Dipper and Great Spotted Woodpecker along side the River Teme at Little Hereford.

25 February Caroline Roseman reports a sighting by her post lady, of the Red Kite seen at Lower Rochford today.

Up at Highwood, Ken Willetts shows a Parsnip Moth trapped over night.


                                                                                     Parsnip Moth                                                     Photo : Ken Willetts

24 February Rachel Arnold had a sighting of the Red Kite over her farm at Eastham this morning...then later on in the day, she had two flying over!.....

At Boraston, Geoff Wookey had two Ravens bathing in his new garden pool. And just to top it all off, he also had a Yellowhammer in the Garden!

One of the more distinctive micro moths to identify fairly easily is this small tortrix moth, 1061 Acleris literana. An inhabitant typically of Oak Woodland, this moth will have over wintered as an adult, re-emerging now owing to the couple of warm days we have had. Ken Willetts light trapped it last night at Highwood.


                                                                                 1061 Acleris literana                                            Photo : Ken Willetts

23 February Sallyann Williams has had this visitor regularly over the past few days. We don't get that many reported from local gardens, so this is a good record of a Reed Bunting. Nice one Sallyann!


                                                                                 Reed Bunting                                              Photo : Sallyann Williams

Over at Clifton, spring has sprung. These two Common Frogs snapped by Simone Arnold are a good indication that it wont be long before our pools and ponds start filling up with frog spawn.


                                                                             Frogs Mating                                                       Photo : Simone Arnold

22 February Ken Willetts shows yet another variation of the 1053 Acleris hastiana or 1054 Acleris cristana species


                                     Another variation of either 1053 Acleris hastiana or 1054 Acleris cristana        Photos : Ken Willetts

21 February Janice Lucas saw the Red Kite over Lower Rochford this morning and also reports that as well as having all the usual garden birds on her feeders in the Garden at Eastham, she also has a regular visit from a female Blackcap.

Meanwhile, up at Highwood, Ken Willetts shows more of the Spring Moths trapped in this, his first year of Moth Trapping.

The Shoulder Stripe larvae feed on Rose type plants, whilst the Small Brindled Beauty larvae are found typically on Oak or Hazel.


                                                                                     Shoulder Stripe                                            Photos : Ken Willetts


                                                                             Small Brindled Beauty                                             Photos : Ken Willetts

21 February Geoff Wookey who lives just up the road from Rachel at Boraston also has his first Siskin of the year today. So it looks like there are some of these birds on the North side of the Valley at the moment.

20 February Rachel Packard has sent in this photo of Siskin on her feeder. Just because nobody else is getting them Rachel, there is no need to rub it in!. Great to see though!


                                                                                   Siskin         Photo : Rachel Packard

Pete Stevens had a Red Kite spotted at Lindridge church this afternoon.

16 February Ken Willetts had this 'walk' to his light trap last night. We believe this is a flightless female of the Pale Brindled Beauty Moth.......unless you know differently!


                                    The Wingless and flightless female of the Pale Brindled Beauty Moth              Photo : Ken Willetts

16 February Another stunning micro moth photograph from Ken Willetts This photograph shows either 1053 Acleris hastiana or 1054 Acleris cristana. Both measuring circa 10 mm head to tail, it is not possible to tell these two species apart visually, so they are usually recorded as 1054x


                                              Either 1053 Acleris hastiana or 1054 Acleris cristana                           Photos : Ken Willetts

15 February At Boraston, Rachel Packard is one of the few people to be reporting good numbers of Siskin. She had eight of them on her feeders today.

At Highwood, Ken Willetts had this micro moth turn up to a light trap. Tortricodes alternella (measuring circa 12mm long) is another early in the year to fly moth and can be seen in good numbers especially where there is a mature woodland, when literally hundreds will come to light on a good night.


                                                                            1025 Tortricodes alternella                                       Photos : Ken Willetts

14 February A timely reminder from Andrew Mawby over at Abberley that we need to keep the bird feeding stations and water supplies clean for our garden birds. The Avian Pox affecting this poor Great Tit will eventually kill the bird and is spread, it is thought, via saliva, from one bird to the next, at feeding stations where many birds congregate. There is plenty more info available on the internet if you want to find out more, but best advice is to regularly clean out feeding and water stations to prevent the virus from spreading.


                                                                         Great Tit with an Avian Pox              Photo : Andrew Mawby

Meantime, at the Bird Seed field at Eastham, Geoff Wookey had a small group of Linnet, Greenfinch and Chaffinch. He also commented on seeing the Blackbird with the White tail plumage reported here on 29th November (see photo from that date).

13 February At Wolferlow, Stuart Smith had 34 Lapwing in the field adjacent to him today. There certainly seem to be more Lapwing about this year, than seen in previous years. Must be good news!

At Rochford, David Sothers has been experimenting with Macro lenses and using a reversing ring on his camera, took this great shot of a piece of Moss. The main stem going diagonally across the screen is actually about 5/16th of an inch in life size......and if you look carefully top right hand side...that black blotch is the head of a tiny beetle. Now that is small !!


                                                                             Macro photograph of Moss                                      Photo : David Sothers

12 February In Caynham, David Faulker has had his first Siskin of the year on his garden feeders along with a Male & Female Blackcap.

Down at the Bird Seed Field at Eastham, Nick & Sheila Benbow saw a large flock of Greenfinch, some Chaffinch and very encouragingly, a flock of around one hundred Linnet.

On the Highwood, Ken Willetts has been braving the cold and running a moth trap. He was rewarded last night with this Micro Moth, Agonopterix arenella, one of the first moths to fly in the year.


                                                                                 697 Agonopterix arenella                                   Photos : Ken Willetts

11 February Felicity Beaumont sent in this report from her garden.... "This week in my garden I've seen a Siskin, a lone Fieldfare, 2 Goldfinches,3 Blackcaps, the usual House Sparrow and Starling gangs, and 10 Blackbirds!"

This week in my garden I've seen a siskin, a lone fieldfare, 2 goldfinches,3 blackcaps, the usual sparrow and starling gangs, and 10 blackbirds!:

Meanwhile, Up at Broadheath, Chris Mussell sent in these photos of birds from his garden. Some of our "common" birds are just stunning close up.


                                                                                                  Robin                                                 Photo : Chris Mussell


                                                                                               Marsh Tit                                              Photo : Chris Mussell


                                                                                            Nuthatch                                                  Photo : Chris Mussell


                                                                                               Great Tit                                               Photo : Chris Mussell


                                                                                   Blue Tit                                                            Photo : Chris Mussell

9 February Ken Willetts sent in these three photos of birds from his garden yesterday. According to our Local Common Bird survey, run over the past three years, the Marsh Tit is rapidly becoming one of our most commonly seen garden birds, whilst Coal Tits and Chaffinch have seen little change in numbers.


                                                                                            Marsh Tit                                                  Photos : Ken Willetts


                                                                                     Coal Tit                                                            Photos : Ken Willetts


                                                                                        Chaffinch                                                      Photos : Ken Willetts

And Simone & Roger Arnold sent in this snippet of info. "Today in Clifton we had a male and female Bullfinch drinking from the bird bath, five House Sparrows, one female Greenfinch, and about seven Chaffinches , Song Thrush, three Wood Pigeons, Blue Tits and Great Tits, a Wren, Blackbird M&F, two Doves and of course the resident Robin trying to chase them all away".

It seems this cold snap is bringing a lot of birds back into our gardens.

In Ian & Diana Parkin's patch over at Abberley, they have been seeing flocks of Fieldfare and Redwing. Also Golden Plover and various Finches have been seen locally in the fields too. Diana also had a Linnet in the Garden today too!.

More Garden Bird news also comes from Chris Kemble at Knighton on Teme. Chris says they have never seen Jays in their Garden before, but today, there were four!..the photo below shows three of them. Chris also gets a Heron on the garden pool occasionally, but the frost and ice stopped him finding his dinner today.


                                                                       Three of the four Jays that came down.                     Photos : Chris Kemble


                                                                          Heron finding it hard going today                            Photos : Chris Kemble

8 February David Faulkner reports having a large flock of 100+ Fieldfare in the garden yesterday over at Caynham, and seeing twelve Lapwing flying over the adjacent field. He is also pleased that the Dipper has reappeared in the local brook too.

Meantime, John Abbiss at Oldwood Common has two interesting birds for his garden bird list. This Rook apparently keeps coming down now it knows where to find food....and John knew that something was amiss when all the small birds suddenly dissappeared....this female Sparrowhawk was looking for lunch too !


                                                                                                  Rook                                                       Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                            Female Sparrowhawk                                  Photo : John Abbiss

7 February The first Brambling reported this year has been seen by Jenny & Chris Rodgers at Stoke Bliss. Chris & Jenny always seem to do well with this bird, seeing a few each winter. Is anybody else seeing them about? Let us know.


                                                                                          Brambling                                                Photo : Jenny Rodgers

4 February Over at Wolferlow, more photos from Stuart Smith's trail camera trap. During the day, flocks of Fieldfare taking the fallen apples, whilst at night, the local Fox comes by to fill up.


                                                                        Fox under the cover of darkness                                   Photo : Stuart Smith


                                                                                            Fieldfare                                                      Photo : Stuart Smith

1 February At Hillwood, Sharly & Jeremy Hughes report a Muntjac Deer feeding openly on Apples in the Orchard.

31 January On John Abbiss's patch at Oldwood Common, the Snow Drops have started to show through, and John also took this photo of a close up shot of some moss.


                                                                        Snow Drops amongst the bracken                                 Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                          'Close up' of tiny mosses                                 Photo : John Abbiss

A little out of our Area...but it may be of interest, Tim Studer reports that there is a Pied Wagtail Roost on the High Street in Worcester...next to the Orange Shop. Tim estimates possibly 500 birds...an impressive sight if you have not seen one before. Tim also reports a flock of circa 50 lapwing at a field this side if Ledbury.

30 January Over at Wolferlow Stuart Smith sent in this photo from a camera trap. It shows one of the shy-est of birds found in the Teme Valley, the Woodcock. We look forward to seeing what else turns up on Stuart's home patch.


                                                                                           Woodcock                                                   Photo : Stuart Smith

29 January Down on the River Teme in Tenbury and also along the Kyre Brook on Palmers Meadow, there has been a Heron feeding. Faye Prichard alerted us to this if you want to go and have a look. Apparently its been around for some time.

Meantime over at Boraston, Geoff Wookey had two Cormorants flying over the house. An interesting 'tick' for his garden bird list.

28 January Up at Highwood, Ken Willetts took these two photos. The Blue Tit looks in a sorry state. It maybe suffering a viral infection.


                                                                                       Scruffy Blue Tit                                             Photos : Ken Willetts


                                                                                       Long Tailed Tit                                              Photos : Ken Willetts

26 January Another moth trapped by Ken Willetts. Agonopterix heracliana, a tiny moth of about 12mm in length.


                                                                                   Agonopterix heracliana                                       Photos : Ken Willetts

22 January There are around 2600 moth species in the UK and Ken Willetts shows here that identification of any one species, can itself be difficult. Some species show considerable variation, as is shown below with four moths trapped by Ken over the last few nights., They are in fact all examples of a moth called Spring Usher. The bottom example is the 'common' variant, at least here in the Teme Valley.





                                                                      Four Variations of Spring Usher                                    Photos : Ken Willetts

20 January Out on his travels , Jeremy Hughes saw the Red Kite at Eastham bridge today, as well as two Foxes mating in broad day light. This is a very unusual sighting as they usually mate under the cover of darkness or in deep cover.

18 January Out gardening , Geoff Wookey found a Buff Tailed Bumble Bee Queen today. Has Spring Sprung?

17 January David Sothers sent in these three wonderful photos from his garden at Rochford, of what are for most of us, relatively common birds in the Teme Valley. It is easy to over look just how colourful these birds are when we see them most days, so these photos are a great reminder that our own native birds don't have to be rare to be stunning!


                                                                                            Blue Tit                                                 Photo : David Sothers


                                                                                         Robin                                                       Photo : David Sothers


                                                                       Great Spotted Woodpecker - Male                              Photo : David Sothers

16 January Geoff Wookey at Boraston reports on seeing circa 100+ Fieldfare taking off from a field at Knighton on Teme on a walk earlier in the week. He also has a pair of Bullfinch in the garden and several Blackcap, as well as this tail less bird which he has called Stumpy. At least it easy to recognise Geoff !


                                                                       'Stumpy' - The tail -less Male Blackcap                          Photo : Geoff Wookey

13 January Ken Willetts on the HighWood has been moth trapping over a few of these warmer nights. It has paid off with two very early species. Both are common moths, but unusually early for this time of year. The Hebrew Character is not usually around until March, yet this is the second one seen this year. An even earlier one was taken by Danny Arnold at Upper Rochford on the 2nd January.


                                                                                 Hebrew Character                                                Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                           Grey Shoulder Knot                                Photo : Ken Willetts

10 January Rachel Packard is one of the few people to report Siskin in the garden this year. She has also had both Male & Female Blackcap in the garden. Out on her travels, she also saw a Hobby in the lanes at Boraston yesterday...proving this bird which is seen occasionally, is still about and surviving the winter.

Caroline Roseman has had this juvenile Mute Swan on her pool for the past week or so. Clearly a bird in its first year as it is just losing its cygnet molt.


                                                                                      Juvenile Mute Swan                                  Photo : Caroline Roseman

9 January Two Barn Owl sightings today. One in Ryse Lane by Caroline Roseman and one by Dave Baynton, visiting family at Upper Rochford. Daves sighting was in the fields below the Tally Ho pub.

8 January Another couple of bird photos from Ken Willets. Greenfinch numbers have definitely come back this year with good numbers being seen locally. Goldfinch numbers seem to remaining fairly constant, but always nice to see on the niger feeders.


                                                                                         Greenfinch                                                  Photo : Ken Willetts



                                                                                       Goldfinch                                       Photo : Ken Willetts

7 January Ken Willets at Highwood has started the year off well with two new species for him in his OPAL Sponsored moth trap. Both of these species are common enough in the Teme Valley, but new records for Ken's site.


                                                                                        Early Moth                                                  Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                              Pale Brindled Beauty                                              Photo : Ken Willetts

4 January Tony Thompson over at Hope Bagot continues to find huge fungal growths in the area. Once again, Tony uses his boot to demonstrate just how large this latest fungal growth is.


                                                                                  Fungi emerging                      Photo : Tony Thompson

2 January Three photos from Ken Willets who used today's sunshine to take a few shots of Birds in his garden on the Highwood.....just proving what a stunning bird our House Sparrows are close up!


                                                                          House Sparrow - Male                    Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                              House Sparrow - Female              Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                       Great Spotted Woodpecker                  Photo : Ken Willetts

1 January 2012 Happy New Year!! Chris Peacock's garden at Brimfield is still turning up interesting birds. This time six Long Tailed Tits were on the feeders today.


To go to the 2011 archive, click this link : 2011 archive