2014 - 15 Archive

25 April We have now set up a Teme Valley Wildlife Group Facebook page, so you can post your wildlife sightings directly in real time. Click the Facebook banner above to take you straight there.

23 April Ian & Diana Parkin at Abberley report their first Swallows back today. And a bonus of a Bullfinch in the garden today too!

22 April Annabel Elliott reports having the first Swallows of the year back at her house at Stoke Bliss.

21 April Pete Stevens heard his first Cuckoo of the year at Frith Common this morning.

At Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold took a walk down by the pools. Reports seeing and hearing a lot of Chiffchaff. Also saw both male and female Blackcap which were new for this year. Spooked a Muntjac deer from undergrowth and spotted, very unusually, a pair of Tufted Duck on the top pool. With Dave and Sallyann reporting them on their pools a couple of days ago, has this part of Worcs had an influx of Tufted Duck? We don't usually see them in the Valley, unless you know differently?


At Ashbed Woods, Geoff Wookey recorded his first White Throat of the year today. He also reports seeing Orange Tip Butterflies, Speckled Wood and Green Veined White.

On the 19th April, the Teme Valley Wildlife Group took a coach trip up the the Elan Valley dams followed by a session at Gigrin farm to see the Red Kite feeding station. Eric Davies says that it was a great trip and sent in these images. The first is of a Willow Warbler from Catherton Common, the RedStart and Pied Flycatcher were brilliant sightings from the Elan Valley Visitors center. And the last image is of the Red Kites coming down en masse and feeding at Gigrin farm.


                                                                                             Willow Warbler                              Photo : Eric Davies


                                                                                             Redstart                              Photo : Eric Davies


                                                                                             Dormouse                              Photo : Eric Davies


                                                                                             Red Kite                              Photo : Eric Davies

20 April Charlotte MacDonald sent in this very interesting piece of news. Aa pair of Peregrine Falcons have taken up residency in Ludlow - at the top of St Lawrence's Church tower.  They are best seen in the early evening, on the West side of the tower ......They are very vocal at the moment and are attracting quite a lot of attention from locals and visitors. Thanks for this update Charlotte.

19 April Over at Great Witley, Dave and Sallyann Williams took these images from their small Nature Reserve. A Wood Mouse, some Toad Spawn and most unusually, these Tufted Duck that appeared on one of the pools.


                                                                                                Wood Mouse                              Photo : Sallyann Williams


                                                                                                Toad Spawn                              Photo : Sallyann Williams


                                                                                                Tufted Duck                              Photo : Sallyann Williams

15 April At Frith Common, Pete Stevens had a Red Kite circling the house this morning. This was an untagged bird. Whilst over at Boraston, Geoff Wookey had the first of his House Martins back, which nest annually in the eaves of the house.

13 April From Oldwood Common, John Abbiss sent in this image of two Bee Flies nectaring on flowers and a second one of a Kestrel on the over head lines.


                                                                                                 Bee Flies                              Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                                                 Kestrel                              Photo : John Abbiss

10 April The Swallows are back in Rochford! Both Danny Arnold at Upper Rochford and Caroline Roseman at Lower Rochford spotted their first Swallows of the year today over their respective properties.

Ken Willetts trap has started to liven up. He took this Dotted Chestnut moth last night. It really is quite a rarity in Worcs generally, although does turn up to light in the Valley occasionally. The moth, the Diurnea Fagella, although being classified as a 'micro' moth, is in fact quite large. This is fairly common in the Valley at this time of year.


                                                                            Dotted Chestnut                             Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                            663 Diurnea Fagella                             Photo : Ken Willetts

8 April Out on her patch, Caroline Roseman had Cowslips out today and also saw her first Brimstone Butterfly of the year.

Up on the Clee, Geoff Wookey had some good bird sightings including Peregrine Falcon, his first Swallow of the year, Numerous Meadow Pipits and Reed Bunting, Red Kite and Ravens.

At his light trap on the Highwood, Ken Willetts trapped and recorded this moth specimen. A curious and unusual colour form of Oak Nycteoline. This is the first time Ken has recorded this moth on his patch.


                                                                             Oak Nycteoline                             Photo : Ken Willetts

7 April Back after the weekend and Tim Studer now has three Swallows back. Here's one on the line.


                                                                                        Swallow                                     Photo : Tim Studer

6 April Caroline Roseman has been out with her camera again, making the most of this fine spring weather. Some stunning shots from the garden.


                                                                                         Primroses                              Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                                                                Peacock                              Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                                                         Pied Wagtail                              Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                                                         Comma                              Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                                                         Speedwell                              Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                                                         Harlequin Ladybird                              Photo : Caroline Roseman

5 April Just a little way out of our area on the Brown Clee at Abdon Burf, Eric Davies photographed this Ring Ouzel. Looking rather like a Blackbird with a white bib, these birds often rest up on migration passage on the Clee.



                                                                                     Ring Ouzel                              Photos : Eric Davies

4 April At the light trap last night, Danny Arnold had this tiny micro moth come in last night. Measuring only a few millimeters in length, this Caloptilia species could be one of two. Either Caloptilia betulicola or Caloptilia elongella. It is not realistically possible to separate these two species visually. Betulicola feeds on Birch whilst elongella feeds on Alder, both of which are common in the area.


                                                                                Caloptilia elongella/betulicola                              Photo : Danny Arnold


2 April At Stockton, Tim Studer had the first Swallow of the year back and flying around the house today.

1 April At Wolferlow, Stuart Smith reports still having a flock of around 60 Fieldfare in the fields around his house. He also heard his first Chiffchaff of the year today, just a day later than last year.

28 March Probably one of the best images we have ever had of a Dipper. Taken by Jim MacDonald on the River Teme up near Ludlow. This elusive water bird is very shy and easily spooked, which is what goes to make this image such a good shot.


                                                                                          Dipper                                           Photo : Jim MacDonald

27 March John Abbiss had the male Sparrowhawk in the garden again today. Clearly the bird feeder is high on its favorite lunch time menu!


                                                                                  Male Sparrowhawk                              Photo : John Abbiss

And over at Ludlow, Jim MacDonald trapped this Early Grey moth in one of the Groups two moth traps.


                                                                                         Early Grey                              Photo : Jim MacDonald

26 March Cathy Sheldon saw a black rabbit today at Lower Frith. She says it didn't look like a 'pet' escapee. Anybody else seeing melanistic rabbits about in the Valley? Meanwhile at Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold lured in a White Marked moth into his light trap last night. First record of the year for him and this species.

24 March Caroline Roseman had a couple of bee flies in the garden today. Worth looking out for!

22 March Richard Pill over at Knighton on Teme heard his first Chiffchaff today. Meanwhile, Caroline Roseman was out with her camera again today and couldn't resist showing that Spring had sprung on her patch.


                                                                                         Primroses                              Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                                                       Lambs                              Photo : Caroline Roseman

21 March We have had some good images in today. We will start off with a couple of moths from Ken Willetts light trap on the Highwood. First is the White Marked. This is a real Teme Valley specialty with over 70% of the all the Worcs records for this moth species coming from the Teme Valley. The moth likes damp, cool locations and the many dingles in the area provide ideal habitat. That said, very little is actually know about this species and its life cycle in the wild. The second moth is Twin Spot Quaker, so named because of the twin spots on the wing. It is a fairly common species locally at this time of year.


                                                                                White Marked Moth                              Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                Twin Spotted Quaker                              Photo : Ken Willetts

Then John Abbiss sent us in these two images from Oldwood Common where he lives. The Sparrowhawk in the garden is amazing!....and how did you get the ducks flying past the setting sun John?


                                                                    Ducks (and pigeon) in the setting sun                     Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                                Male Sparrowhawk                              Photo : John Abbiss

And finally some images from Caroline Roseman's patch over at Lower Rochford, including a rare sight of a badger from a camera trap Caroline set up over night.


                                                                                                 Badger                              Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                                                               Canada Geese                              Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                                                               Frog Spawn                              Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                                              Harlequin Ladybird                              Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                                              Tree Bumblebee Queen                              Photo : Caroline Roseman

20 March Ken Willetts Moth trap has started to come alive this Spring. He reports taking a Red Green Carpet moth today and these two common Spring species this week. Its not difficult to see why either of these two moths have their names. The first is a White Shouldered House Moth ...because it has white shoulders and is often found in houses!...and the second one is the  March Moth...say no more!


                                                                                White Shouldered House Moth                              Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                    March Moth                                            Photo : Ken Willetts

17 March Caroline Roseman saw a Mink today on a stream near to her at Lower Rochford.

16 March Jim MacDonald was driving on the A49 out towards Ludlow this evening and came across a dead Polecat on the road. He noticed it was still there on his return journey, so stopped and picked it up putting it in a plastic sack.  Jim spoke with the Vincent Wildlife Trust who took the animal away to do various tests which might help to shed information on this very secretive species which is seldom seen, but of which there are plenty, in the Teme Valley.  Jim also spotted a Red Kite over Ludlow town today. No visible wing tags.


                                                                                      Dead Polecat                                            Photo : Jim MacDonald

And from Boraston, Geoff Wookey reports a flock of 60 Meadow Pipit on an ungrazed rough meadow next to Ashbed Woods. The meadow is also covered in ant hills and there were 3 Green Woodpecker feeding on them. Yesterday his dogs put up a pair of Woodcock in the woods.

This afternoon he also saw a Red Kite being harassed by a corvid over Nash church and reports hearing his first Blackcap of the season in full song in the garden today.

13 March And yet more frogs arriving in Jim MacDonald's garden pool!!


                                                                                      Even More Frogs                               Photo : Jim MacDonald

12 March Jim MacDonald says the Frog invasion has started in his pools over night!


                                                                                       Frogs                                            Photo : Jim MacDonald

11 March Tom Blumer spotted a Red Kite two miles west of Newnham Bridge on the A443 today. On the Highwood, Ken Willetts sent in this nice image of a Grey Shoulder Knot moth. It is an interesting moth in that it becomes more scarce nationally as you move south and west. The larvae of this moth are cannibalistic towards each other with the host plant being Oak.


                                                                                    Grey Shoulder Knot                                            Photo : Ken Willetts

10 March At Clifton this week, a friend of Francis Peplow, Phil Newsome photographed this Red Kite circling low. It appears to have tagged wings, yellow and black. We cant see the number, but wonder if its the Wigmore bird 08.


                                                                                 Red Kite - 1                                            Photo : Phil Newsome


                                                                                 Red Kite - 2                                            Photo : Phil Newsome


                                                                                 Red Kite - 3                                            Photo : Phil Newsome

And over at Ludlow, Jim MacDonald photographed this freshly emerged Comma butterfly on the Ivy.


                                                                                 Comma                                            Photo : Jim MacDonald

9 March Geoff Wookey saw a Red Kite on two different occasions today. One over at Ashbed Woods. The second over his garden at Boraston this afternoon. Geoff also reports seeing 5 Meadow Pipits and a Goosander. And later on the same day, Janice Lucas had a Red Kite over Talltrees Stoves on the lower Tenbury road. Same Bird as Geoff?

8 March A friend of Eric Davies's phoned to say he had a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker on his bird feeder in his garden at Abberley. Eric got in his car, camera in hand and managed to get these great images of Europe's smallest and most elusive Woodpecker.



                                                                         Lesser Spotted Woodpecker        Photos : Eric Davies

7 March At Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman is now seeing several queen bees flying about her garden. She has also seen her first Tortoiseshell Butterfly on a Primrose. On the Highwood, Ken Willetts light trap is now starting to produce a few Spring moth species. These two are very common at this time of year and can often be found in the evenings, nectaring on Sallow flowers.


                                                                                 Hebrew Character                                            Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                    Common Quaker                                            Photo : Ken Willetts

6 March Ken Willetts says he's happy. He had his first moth of the year. A single Dotted Border!.

5 March Ken Willetts sent in these lovely garden bird images, saying that moths were still conspicuous by their absence this year so far, which only left birds to photograph!


                                                                                                      Jay                                            Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                           Chaffinch - Female                               Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                                Coal Tit                                          Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                      Male Chaffinch                                  Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                      Long Tailed Tit                                  Photo : Ken Willetts

4 March Caroline Roseman over at Lower Rochford saw her first Queen bee of the season this morning. Meantime, at Frith Common, Pete Stevens neighbour, had a pair of Red Kite cicling the house early this morning.

1 March Ken Willetts sent in this image of a squirrel that's causing a lot of trouble on his bird feeders.


                                                                                     Grey Squirrel                            Photo : Ken Willetts

24 February Jim MacDonald found this lovely Peacock butterfly yesterday as he was moving a pile of bricks to build a raised flower border.  He reckons it must be several weeks early - as it wasn't flying.    He felt it was too cold to be outside so put it in the greenhouse.  Looked this morning and it must have found somewhere else to go to as it had moved.   He says he also saw a Red Admiral flying in Mortimer Forest a week ago. So the over wintering Butterflies are starting to emerge.


                                                                                     Peacock Butterfly                            Photos : Jim MacDonald

19 February At Burford, and slightly west of, Tom Blumer sighted a Red Kite at 10:15 this morning.

18 February On the Highwood, Ken Willetts said that he has still yet to record his first moth of the year, so instead of moths, he's taken up photographing the garden bird population just now. And started with what he calls his 'theme of red birds'.  Great images Ken, as always!


                                                                                      Male Bullfinch                                  Photos : Ken Willetts


                                                                                      Lesser Redpoll                                  Photos : Ken Willetts


                                                                                      Great Spotted Woodpecker                 Photos : Ken Willetts

17 February The first one we've reported this year. This Oak Beauty moth was found by Jim MacDonald over at Ludlow at an outdoor porch light. One of the first large moths of the year to appear in the Teme Valley.


                                                                                      Oak Beauty Moth                            Photos : Jim MacDonald

15 February The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was back on the Ash tree at Rochford for Wanda Arnold again today.

14 February Every year about this time, it seems that part of Oldwood Common gets fenced off for grazing. John Abbiss who lives up alongside the Common has noted that at these times, there can arrive large flocks of birds. Today he had a flock of usually quite elusive Meadow Pipit turn up.


                                                                                        Meadow Pipit                            Photos : John Abbiss



                                                                                         Meadow Pipit                            Photos : John Abbiss


10 February At Rochford Wanda Arnold had a great record on the large Ash just outside the house, a tiny Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. Only ever been one other record from this site in the last ten years. Wanda says that she was attracted to the incessant and rapid knocking on the bark of the tree, which gave away the birds location.

9 February At Boraston Geoff Wookey had a Red Kite over the house today, with Black and Yellow wing tags. The number couldn't be made out, but it could well be the Wigmore bird again seen last week.

Meanwhile, at Lower Rochford Caroline Roseman took this picture of a Song Thrush breaking into a snail shell for lunch.


                                                                                         Song Thrush                            Photos : Caroline Roseman

7 February With the absence of moths owing to the cold weather we are experiencing, Ken Willetts turned his camera lens on to some of the birds found in his garden. Some stunning images here Ken!


                                                                                            Long Tailed Tit                            Photos : Ken Willetts


                                                                                      Female Bullfinch                                      Photos : Ken Willetts


                                                                                          Male Chaffinch                               Photos : Ken Willetts


                                                                                                Goldfinch                                      Photos : Ken Willetts


                                                             Stunning ariel combat - Goldfinch squabbling              Photos : Ken Willetts

5 February And another reported Muntjac, this time for Brian Marsh who had one in his garden at Eardiston today, in broad day light.

3 February Danny Arnold had sight of a Muntjac on the drive at dusk tonight at Upper Rochford. First time its been seen this year though it has been heard barking over the past three nights.

2 February John Abbiss sent in these images of three different Corvids which come down into his back garden at Oldwood Common. Great images John!


                                                                                                Magpie                                        Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                                         Carrion Crow                                        Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                                                Jackdaw                                        Photo : John Abbiss

1 February Chris & Jenny Rodgers sent in this wonderful image together with the caption " I was only a size 8 when I got in here! " We love it!! They assured us, that he did eventually get out the same day! A whole new meaning to a Bird in a Cage!


                                                                        I was only a size 8 when I got in here!         Photos : Jenny Rodgers

30 January Stuart Smith spooked a Woodcock from a tree plantation on his patch at Wolferlow today.

29 January Caroline Roseman has been out with her camera this morning and recorded these images from her local patch at Lower Rochford.


                                                                                     Aconites flowering                       Photos : Caroline Roseman


                                                                                     Lichen on gate post                       Photos : Caroline Roseman


                                                                                     Hibernating Butterfly                       Photos : Caroline Roseman

27 January Ken Willetts too, had a Red Kite over the house this morning. Ken says it was quite poor light, so difficult to photograph. He did however get this image which clearly shows a Black/Yellow tag with 08 on it. This bird has been seen in the Teme Valley last year and is a two year old bird that was bred over at Wigmore in 2013.


                                                                            Red Kite wing tagged black/yellow 08              Photos : Ken Willetts

26 January Emma Maltravers spotted a Red Kite at Eastham today.

25 January Over at Neen Savage, Eric Davies took part in the RSPB's Bird Count weekend and recorded these two species amongst many others. Bullfinches seem to have had a real revival in the Teme Valley over the last couple of years, and its always nice to see the Winter Lesser Redpoll back in the gardens, this being only the second reported record of them this year. Eric had a small group of five today.


                                                                                         Lesser Redpoll                                      Photos : Eric Davies


                                                                                         Bullfinch Male                                      Photos : Eric Davies


23 January At Knighton on Teme, Richard Pill managed to get a couple of images of a Red Kite flying over the house. Anybody else been seeing this bird? Let us know.



                                                                                         Red Kite                                      Photos : Richard Pill

20 January From the lens of Ken Willetts on the Highwood, some more birds from his garden.


                                                                                          Blackbird                                      Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                          Pied Wagtail                                      Photo : Ken Willetts

19 January At Lower Rochford, Spring has sprung. Caroline Roseman took these images of signs of early growth in the hedgerows.


                                                                                             Hazel Catkins                        Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                                                              Elder bud breaking                        Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                                                              Alder Catkins                        Photo : Caroline Roseman

16 January Over at Ashbed Woods & ponds Geoff Wookey has had in the last few days, sightings including a male Mandarin Duck and male Teal plus two male and one female Gossander. He's also seen his first Cormorant of the winter. Also In the woodland itself, his dogs put up a Woodcock.

15 January At Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold spooked a Woodcock out of the undergrowth down by the pools this lunchtime. First one for several years.

Meantime, up on the Highwood, Ken Willetts sent in these fantastic bird pictures taken in his garden today.


                                                                                            Blue Tit                                      Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                            Green Finch                                      Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                    Great Tit                                      Photo : Ken Willetts

12 January Another great record from Caroline Roseman. Last year, Caroline recorded a very rare Oil Beetle on her patch. Guess what?.....She has found another one this year. Meloe rugosus Rugged Oil Beetle as is its official title, is not just rare locally, it's rare nationally. A great start to the year! (ID Confirmed by Rosemary Winnal).



                                                                                           Rugged Oil Beetle                       Photos : Rosemary Winnal

11 January At Lower Rochford, spring has come early at Caroline Roseman farm. Caroline had the first Snowdrops up on the 2nd January and first Daffodils on the 6th !!


                                                                                    First Snowdrops out 2nd Jan!            Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                                                              Primrose                        Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                                                    First Daffs out 6th Jan!                        Photo : Caroline Roseman

9 January Over at Wolferlow, Stuart Smith who keeps data coming in for the local common bird survey, sent a note in saying that his species total for his patch in 2014 was 71 species, being just one short of his 72 total in 2013. That is, until the very last day of the year, when his neighbour started ploughing the field next door and in came three Black Headed Gulls, which were new for year, making the 2014 total also 72, the same as in 2013.

At Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold had a moth trap out. It was a really warm night for January last night (11C Low temp) which brought five species into the moth trap including this tiny micro moth Scrobipalpa costella. It has been recorded at light traps in the Valley previously and is usually on the wing typically in late autumn. Clearly this one below, has over wintered and been attracted back out by the unseasonally warm weather last night. The larvae feed on Bittersweet (Woody Nightshade).


                                                                                   819 Scrobipalpa costella                            Photos : Danny Arnold

8 January A warm but windy day yesterday, Ken Willetts managed to take these remarkable close up shots of a Grey Squirrel raiding his bird feeder.




                                                                                   Grey Squirrel close ups                                      Photos : Ken Willetts

7 January Another couple of hard crop photos due to the distance, but Caroline Roseman has again captured the Kestrel that is frequenting her home patch at Lower Rochford.


                                                                                    Hovering Kestrel                        Photo : Caroline Roseman



                                                                                      A distant Kestrel                        Photo : Caroline Roseman


5 January Another stunning light from the setting sun over Rochford today. Caroline Roseman had her camera out and also noted a flock of Fieldfare in the trees taking every advantage of the last of the days heat.


                                                                  Beautiful light of the setting sun                      Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                                                          Fieldfare Flock                        Photo : Caroline Roseman

4 January And at Lower Rochford again, Caroline Roseman had a Woodcock take off in the woods this morning. Meantime, at Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold had the moth trap out even though it went below freezing last night and was therefore surprised to see a Satellite Moth in the trap this morning. It's a winter species but does not usually fly in very cold weather. The three 'satellite' spots come in either orange or white as in this case.



                                                                                              Satellite                                      Photo : Danny Arnold

2 January At Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman has also been out with her camera over the festive period and sent in these stunning images. Like Ken, Caroline....we all hope we see some more of your images in 2015.


                                                                                          Red Kite                                      Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                                               Sunset over the Valley                        Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                                                          Crab Apples                                      Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                                                          Winter setting sun                       Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                                                               Toad                                      Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                                                          Kestrel                                      Photo : Caroline Roseman

1 January 2015 Happy New Year!

Ken Willetts was out and about with his camera this holiday and took these stunning images from around the garden. Superb quality photos Ken....and we look forward to seeing more during the year.


                                                                                             Jay                                      Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                          Gold Finch                                      Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                               Marsh Tit                                      Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                               The iridescent colour's of a Cock Pheasant                    Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                       Jack Frost sculpting on Glass                                      Photo : Ken Willetts

29 December Its been very cold these last couple of days with a hard morning frost. John Abbiss has been out and about on Oldwood Common and took these images.


                                                                                Frozen Bracken                                        Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                      Wood Pigeon in the Ivy                                        Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                      Frozen Bramble in the morning sun                    Photo : John Abbiss

25 December Happy Christmas!!

24 December From the middle of Tenbury, Felicity Beaumont sent in this photo of a Red Kite circling high above her house. Nice Christmas present!.


                                                                      Red Kite over Tenbury                                        Photo : Felicity Beaumont

19 December At Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman had a Red Kite over the house today, being mobbed by the local Corvid population. Meanwhile, at Wolferlow, Stuart Smith reports seeing his first Grey Wagtail of the year on his patch this week, taking his total birds to 71 species for this year - on his patch.

17 December A distinct case of having woken up too soon. Danny Arnold had a Pipestrel Bat flying around the outside of the house this afternoon, probably enticed out by the unseasonally warm weather today and last night. A very unusual winter record.

10 December Danny Arnold had 14 Buzzards feeding on worms on the field adjacent to Eastham Bridge today.

7 December Out at Neen Sollars, Eric Davies has had half a dozen Mistle Thrush in his orchard over the past few weeks. Many of these may well be Scandinavian birds from the continent.


                                                                                    Mistle Thrush                   Photo : Eric Davies

23 November As Ken Willetts noted in his email message attached to this image, when this moth turns up, the appropriately named December Moth, its a sure sign that Christmas is around the corner! Ken trapped and recorded this specimen to light over night.


                                                                                     December Moth                                      Photo : Ken Willetts

21 November At Clifton, Liz Rowe rang to say that she had seen a large flock of Lapwing on a field by her house. Nice to see these birds returning to our local fields again this year.

20 November On Oldwood Common, the combination of damp and warm conditions, have brought forth a plethora of fungi. John Abbiss who lives along side the Common, sent in these images. John says that the third image here, the Dogs Vomit Slime Mould, looks just like, well, er....Dogs Vomit!! (Thanks for that John!!)


                                                                                       Waxcap Fungi                                                Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                                       Waxcap Fungi                                                Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                        Dogs Vomit Slime Mould                                        Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                                        Puffball fungi                                                Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                                        Puffball fungi                                                Photo : John Abbiss

14 November At Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold has been seeing for the past couple of days, large (30+) flocks of Mistle Thrush passing through. Easily identifiable by the extreme noise they make whilst feeding on the berry trees locally.

2 November Over at Wolferlow, Stuart Smith added to his garden list, a Red Kite which was circling over the house for the first time. Amazingly, Stuart also had a flock of about forty Redwing on his patch today. Same birds as Danny saw yesterday maybe??

1 November At Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold saw the first Redwing flock of the year, flying at tree level towards Upper Sapey. Also at Upper Rochford, Caroline Roseman had a Red Kite flying over the house yesterday.

31 October On the high wood, Ken Willetts ran his light trap again last night and tempted in this tiny Ladybird along with a Feathered Thorn Moth and a very late Dark Arches moth.


                                                                                                 Ladybird                                      Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                           Dark Arches                                      Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                   Feathered Thorn                                      Photo : Ken Willetts

22 October In a sheltered location over on Oldwood Common, John Abbiss came across these late flowering plants, a nice blue bell flower and a Marsh Thistle.


                                                                                   Marsh Thistle                            Photo : John Abbiss


                                                        Flowers are still around on Oldwood Common                      Photo : John Abbiss

29 October Down at Eastham Bridge, the fields have once again got several Buzzards in them. They are clearly attracted to, and feeding on worms in the top soil. Pete Stevens reported 9 down there today.

22 October Quite a few of them about now, but still a stunning bird, even in the rain....stood on one leg keeping the other dry!

This pheasant image taken at Pete and Vicki's house at Lower Frith. The second image is of a large Hornet, which got into the bedroom to escape the rain!


                                                                                             Male Pheasant                                     Photo : Vicki Stevens


                                                                                              Hornet                                             Photo : Vicki Stevens

20 October More from the lens of John Abbiss at his home at Oldwood Common. A great image of a Nuthatch sorting his winter fuel supply out. Followed by an interesting little plume moth Amblyptilia acanthadactyla and lastly a Spotted Cranefly.


                                                                                            Nuthatch                                      Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                         Amblyptilia acanthadactyla                                     Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                          Spotted Cranefly                                      Photo : John Abbiss

20 October Ken Willetts on the Highwood had a light trap out last night and attracted in one of the most spectacular of the british moth species, the Merveille de Jour. This stunning moth is quite widespread across the Teme Valley, but is always a pleasure to see close up.


                                                                            Merveille de Jour Moth                                      Photo : Ken Willetts

16 October John Abbiss over at Oldwood Common, found this colourful Scorpion fly on his roses today. John also made note of the fact that having lived in the house for some 7 years now, this week was the first time he had ever had a Grey Wagtail in the garden.


                                                                            Scorpion Fly                                      Photo : John Abbiss

10 October Tim Studer over at Martley had a great sighting today of what he believes was an Osprey. He says that it had landed in a conifer some way off, which gave him a good chance to look at it, before it flew of in a Southerly direction, presumably making a late migration to warmer climes.

9 October Diana Parkin was busy pruning her roses today when the secateurs were just about to lop this stick appendage. Fortunately enough she stopped herself just in time as she realised it was a caterpillar. Using the Teme Valley Wildlife Groups library, she was able to identify this as the caterpillar of the Peppered Moth, as stunning black and white moth species which is found as an adult fairly regularly at light traps in the area. Finding the caterpillar larvae however, is a little more difficult!. And its easy to see why!


                                                                            Peppered Moth Larvae                                      Photo : Diana Parkin

4 October Steph Mocroft the TV Wildlife Groups regular botanist, sent in these brilliant images from the Wild Bird Seed Field. As can be seen, this late bout of warm weather has really brought on the Sunflower heads and there now, should be lots of seeds for over wintering teme valley birds.




                                                             Wild Bird Seed field, in full bloom                                      Photos : Steph Mocroft

2 October Simone and Roger Arnold sent in this image of a Great diving Water Beetle coming out of their garden pond. They say this is the first time they have seen one and didn't even know there were any in the pond.


                                                                         Great Diving Water Beetle        Photo : Simone Arnold


28 September Ken Willetts seems to be the only active photographer at the moment! This tiny moth called the Large Fruit Tree Tortrix moth, whilst small, is Large for a tortrix moth, which typically only measure a few millimeters in size. Nice garden record.


                                                                               Large Fruit Tree Tortrix                                 Photo : Ken Willetts

22 September Ken Willetts sent in this image of another Sallow moth. This is the same species as the one below, but just goes to show how variable the markings on this species can be.


                                                                                           The Sallow.                              Photo : Ken Willetts


20 September Although planted late, the wild bird seed field at Eastham has once again been a success with all the various seed crops planted coming through just in time. The Sunflowers were the main concern, but as Richard Pill's picture shows below, the additional bout of warm weather we have had over the last few days has brought them on and they are now in full flower. There should now be plenty of seeds for the birds over winter.


                                                                    The wild bird seed field at Eastham                              Photo : Richard Pill

18 September At Eastham, Janice Lucas photographed this pretty moth on the window which had been attracted to light during the previous evening. Its a Canary Shouldered Thorn.


                                                                  Canary Shouldered Thorn                              Photo : Janice Lucas

And on the Highwood, Autumnal moths are coming in thick and fast now. First for the year, Ken Willetts took this Black Rustic moth, another autumn species.


                                                                                           Black Rustic                              Photo : Ken Willetts

16 September Whilst up on the Clee Hill walking by the radar station, Eric Davies photographed this amazing sight. A whole host of House Martins flying around the site, presumably making ready for their flight back south. Its interesting to surmise as to why they were so prolific in this particular spot. It may be that insects were (are) attracted to the white golf ball like structure, which in turn lured the House Martins in to the area.


                                                  House Martins around the radar station                              Photo : Eric Davies

More proof, as if it were needed, that autumn is around the corner. These two moth species came to light last night for Ken Willetts. The Sallow and Center barred Sallow are both moths associated with the end of summer!


                                                                                           Centrer Barred Sallow                              Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                           The Sallow.                              Photo : Ken Willetts

13 September At around 9am, Pete Broadly reports seeing a Red Kite in flight half way up the bank at Hill Top farm, Upper Rochford. Meanwhile, later in the day, there must have been a mass emergence of Buff Tip Moth Caterpillars today. First we had correspondence from Sharron Barfield over in Kidderminster, then Keith Holbrow at Hope Bagot got in touch and then Simone Arnold at Clifton emailed this photo over. All had seen these Buff Tip moth caterpillars on deciduous trees in the garden. If you think the caterpillar is amazing, look up the adult moth!!!


                                                                                         Buff Tip Moth Caterpillars.                              Photo : Simone Arnold

8 September At Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman had a Charm / Chime of about 30 Goldfinch in her Orchard today.

4 September Natures alternative to slug pellets. A Toad is always nice to see in the garden! This one turned up at Simone and Roger Arnold's garden in Clifton.


                                                                                                 Toad.                                          Photo : Simone Arnold

3 September Ken Willetts was busy moving some slabs in his Highwood garden and came across this Great Crested Newt. The most protected of all the Newt species, they are quite rare nationally, but not so in the Teme Valley, where they often turn upo in gardens, ponds and water features.


                                                                                           Great crested Newt.                              Photo : Ken Willetts

2 September At HighWood, Ken Willetts trapped this Small Dusty Wave moth. Some years they are to be found in good numbers, but this year have been very scarce in the Teme Valley moth traps.


                                                                                           Small Dusty Wave                              Photo : Ken Willetts

1 September At Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold heard a very late Cuckoo, presumably in transit on its way back south! Meanwhile, at Eardiston, Brian Marsh found this moth on the wall this morning and correctly identified it, as a Canary Shouldered Thorn. Great garden record Brian.


                                                                            Canary Shouldered Thorn                              Photo : Brian Marsh

31 August Margaret Chaffy reports having a large Hornets nest in an aging plum tree at the bottom of the garden. She says that their size and numbers are quite intimidating. We confirmed that they will have almost certainly died off by the beginning of winter as only the Queen survives through to the following year usually.

Meantime, Ken Willetts has updated us with some more of his lepidoptera images from the HighWood, but starts off with this stunning picture of a Common Darter dragonfly. This is probably the most common of all our Dragonflies and is found on wet habitat throughout the UK.


                                                                                           Common Darter                              Photo : Ken Willetts

Not too many Red Admiral butterflies being reported in the Teme Valley this year. Unless you know differently?


                                                                                           Red Admiral                              Photo : Ken Willetts

This Feathered Gothic moth that came to Kens Light trap last night is a sure indication that autumn is on its way, being a real autumnal species!


                                                                                           Feathered Gothic                              Photo : Ken Willetts

Another Autumnal species, the stunning Pebble Hook tip moth showing great camouflage with the changing leaf colours.


                                                                                           Pebble Hook Tip                              Photo : Ken Willetts

One of a very difficult group of moths to identify. This is one of the Ermine species Group. They cannot be safely identified 'by eye' and so are recorded as "Ermine aggregate" species. Often associated with an Orchard habitat, hence why they are so common in our area.


                                                                                           Ermine sp.                              Photo : Ken Willetts

This colourful moth Carcina quercana is tiny, being only a few millimeters across the wing. It is a typical July and August flyer and has done very well in the Teme Valley this year with it showing up regularly in moth traps along the Valley. It is most often associated with Oak and Beech habitat.


                                                                                           658 Carcina quercana                              Photo : Ken Willetts

29 August Just to demonstrate how difficult it is to sometimes identify moths that have 'gone over', This Maidens Blush moth has lost the majority of its colouring, making it very difficult to identify from any book. Trapped by Ken Willetts over night.


                                                                                           Maidens Blush                              Photo : Ken Willetts

28 August Felicity Beaumont reports a Stoat running around in her garden in suburban Tenbury. She says it was there for about five minutes before taking off. What a brilliant garden record!

26 August Ken Willetts moth trap is in the news again, with this strange looking insect that turned up sometime back on the 12th July. The image was sent over to Harry Green at the WWT who tentatively identified it as Miridius quadrivirgatus   This was confirmed by Joseph Botting, the national expert on this species, who says that it is slowly spreading northwards. This is only the second record for Worcestershire for this species, the other being found in the Wyre Forest. Another fantastic record for Ken and indeed, the Teme Valley!


                                                                                          Miridius quadrivirgatus                             Photo : Ken Willetts

20 August Ken Willetts reports seeing a Red Kite over the house yesterday and over 20 Mistle Thrush on the Rowan hedge in the garden. Mistle Thrush appear to have had a good breeding year this year, with many being seen locally.

14 August Ken Willetts sent in this photo of a very smart looking tiny moth called Cydia splendana. Its a moth of deciduous woodland with the moth larvae feeding on Oak or Sweet Chestnut typically.


                                                                                           1260 Cydia splendana                              Photo : Ken Willetts

12 August Brian Marsh at Stockton sent in this image of a toad posing in the garden.


                                                                                             Toad                              Photo : Brian Marsh

And at Knighton on Teme, Margaret Bradley found this huge Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar in the garden.


                                                                  Elephant Hawk Moth Caterpillar                              Photo : Margaret Bradley

9 August Lyn Emery sent in this photo of a nest in a neighbours forsythia bush. Measuring just 5.5 cms across, we suspect its a nest of a Goldcrest.


                                                                                             Goldcrest Nest ?                              Photo : Lyn Emery

4 August Austin Palmer sent in this photo of what he says is his first ever moth picture!. This is an interesting shot as the moth is White Ermine which is right at the very end of its flight season. Hence why it looks so badly tattered and torn we suspect.


                                                                                             White Ermine                              Photo : Austin Palmer

3 August Whilst out walking around Boraston, Geoff Wookey was watching a Red Kite flying overhead. He then noticed another bird being harassed by Corvids. His first reaction with the naked eye was that it was probably a Sparrowhawk. It started flying closer and eventually got his binoculars on it and was surprised to see it was a Peregrine. He assumes it was one of the Clee Hill birds. It finally shook off the corvids, soared upwards and then went into a stoop and disappeared behind a hill.

And on the Highwood, a rare occunence for Ken Willetts now. He recorded a new Macro Moth for his garden. Ken has an impressive garden list, but this Small Waved Umber was new to his list.


                                                                                             Small Waved Umber                   Photo : Ken Willetts


2 August Pete & Vicki Stevens photographed another Dragonfly emerging from their pool today. Incredibly, they reckon they have had at least twenty Southern Hawker emerge from the pool in the last week or so. And that's only those that they have seen.


                                                                                           Southern Hawker emerging                   Photo : Vicki Stevens

1 August Up on the Highwood, Ken Willetts had a really good night with the light trap last night. The Pammene fasciana is a great record as it is new for the Teme Valley and for our SO66 10km sq. The Coronet is also a good local record with less than 50 records in Worcs and another new one for the Teme Valley and SO66!!


                                                                                             Double Striped Pug                   Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                             Coronet                              Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                              Juniper Pug      (ID Oliver Wadsworth)          Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                            1236 Pammene fasciana                  Photo : Ken Willetts

31 July At Upper Rochford, this not particularly common Orange Swift came to the light trap over night for Danny Arnold.


                                                                                          Orange Swift                                    Photo : Danny Arnold

30 July On Oldwood Common, John Abbiss has been out with his camera again today. He says there are plenty of GateKeeper Butterflies around on the Common. He is also seeing plenty of Green Veined White too. Comma's numbers however, are now tailing off.


                                                                                     Gatekeeper Butterfly                                  Photo : John Abbiss



                                                                                                  Comma                                  Photo : John Abbiss



                                                                                     Green Veined White                                  Photo : John Abbiss


29 July On the evening of 19th July, Stuart Smith from Wolferlow saw four Parakeets on the Great Witley side of Abberley Hill. He says didn't’t have binoculars with him, but assumes they must have been Rose Ringed. They are the first he's seen in the area.....have you seen them? Get in touch if you have.

27 July At Stockton on Teme, Bill Spice had had his light trap out over the last few nights and trapped and recorded these interesting moth species. The Small Rufous is a particularly good record with only around 40 records for the whole of Worcs.


                                                                                          The Olive                                                Photo : Bill Spice


                                                                                          Yellow Barred Brindle                        Photo : Bill Spice


                                                                                          Lunar Spotted Pinion                                    Photo : Bill Spice


                                                                                          Everest pallidata                                    Photo : Bill Spice


                                                                                          Small Rufous Moth                                    Photo : Bill Spice

26 July Jim MacDonald was out again today and sent a note in with this image saying 'got it!', referring to the fact that when he saw this snake a couple of days ago, he didn't have his camera with him. Well, you certainly made up for it this time Jim. Great photo! The Grass Snake is a couple of feet long.


                                                                                       Grass Snake                                   Photo : Jim MacDonald

25 July Cecilia Dean moved some horse matting only to find these two hiding away in the dark damp. We do very well for the Great Crested Newt in the Teme Valley where there is definitely a strong hold for the species in Worcs. Slow worms are always great to see too.


                                                                                             Great Crested Newt                          Photo : Cecilia Dean


                                                                                             Slow Worm                                   Photo : Cecilia Dean

Over at Ludlow, Jim MacDonald has been out in the garden with his camera and managed to get these three great images. The Southern Hawker is a particularly good shot seeing as the dragonfly is in flight! Jim also says that unfortunately on two occasions, he forgot to take his camera out when he saw a lovely Clouded Border moth and a sage green adult grass snake .


                                                                             Southern Hawker in Flight                    Photo : Jim MacDonald



                                                                                             The Herald Moth                    Photo : Jim MacDonald



                                                                             Toad seen in Mortimer Forest                    Photo : Jim MacDonald

24 July Ken Willetts sent in these six great images from his garden and moth trap over night.


                                                                                              Broad Bodied Chaser                   Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                             Waved Black                               Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                              Shark                                Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                              Southern Hawker                                Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                              Drinker Moth                                Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                Riband Wave                                            Photo : Ken Willetts

And at Eastham, Pete Thorp found this moth at a light this morning. This is the appropriately named Black Arches moth .


                                                                                        Black Arches                                  Photo : Pete Thorp

23 July Caroline Roseman reports an incredible 14 Green Woodpeckers on the anthills in Pouncey field - which is a field running parallel to a hop field towards the bottom of her drive.  Caroline goes on to say, It is too steep to top for grass so has marvelous anthills but nonetheless 14 is a record!

20 July Not really Wildlife, but a dramatic picture from John Abbiss of the electrical storm going on this evening over his house at Oldwood Common. John was also out with his camera earlier on in the day before the rain and took a photo of some eggs on the underside of a leaf where he found a Vapourer Moth yesterday. He thinks therefore, that these might well be the eggs laid by that moth. And finally, John found this Buff Tip moth caterpillar in the undergrowth on the Common.


                                                                              Electrical Storm overhead                                  Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                                  Vapourer Moth Eggs?                                  Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                              Buff Tip Moth Caterpillar                                  Photo : John Abbiss

On the Clee Hill today, Eric Davies caught sight of this Lesser Whitethroat and also came across this Dark Green Fritillary Butterfly. Great records Eric!


                                                                                    Lesser Whitethroat                                  Photo : Eric Davies


                                                                                    Dark Green Fritillary                                  Photo : Eric Davies

19 July Gerald Roseman awoke this morning, looked out of the window and saw a Kingfisher perched on a cane in the Raspberry patch! How odd! And this afternoon, Brian Marsh spotted a Red Kite between Newnham Bridge and Knighton.

18 July Caroline Roseman had an amazing sight at her house today. The several days of hot weather had allowed the ant colonies to get very large and this afternoon, there were thousands of flying ants taking to the air. More than this, Caroline says that there are usually a few birds about when the flying ants start to swarm each year, but this afternoon, she reports that there were hundreds of birds flying over head making good use of the easy meals coming up to meet them. One impressive sight!

Meanwhile, Geoff Wookey had his light trap out last night and coaxed in these two moths which were new for his garden. The Calamotropha paludella is an interesting records as Ken Willetts also trapped one recently on the other side of the Valley. THe larvae of this species live on Bulrush leaves, so in both cases, the adult must have come up out of the Valley to be trapped, in Geoff's case, at Boraston. The Scalloped Shell moth really is an important record. These moths are not very common at all and are more often associated with mature and even ancient woodland. Very strange how this has turned up at Boraston, but a fantastic record for the Teme Valley.


                                                                                    Scallop Shell Moth                                  Photo : Geoff Wookey


                                                                     1292 Calamotropha paludella                                 Photo : Geoff Wookey

17 July Lyn Emery had this large Southern Hawker Dragonfly turn up in her garden today.


                                                                   Southern Hawker Dragonfly                                 Photo : Lyn Emery

16 July Roger Arnold had an even better bird record for his garden today. A Lesser Spotted Woodpecker flew into a damson tree at the edge of his garden today. Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers are very scarce in our area, being only the size of a Sparrow. This is a great garden record.

15 July Roger Arnold reports a Red Kite over Clifton on Teme this afternoon.

13 July A lot of these large moths about at the moment. This Large Yellow Underwing turned up at Maggie Kingston's garden at Stoke Bliss.


                                                                   Large Yellow Underwing                                 Photo : Maggie Kingston

12 July Over at Knighton on Teme, Richard Pill and Amanda Allott had a very strange bird turn up in the flower beds. This leucistic House Martin had apparently fallen from a nest in the eaves of the house. Richard got a ladder and put it back, but it was soon on the floor again. Richard found that the flight feathers on the birds left wing were missing, so the bird was taken to the Caun Wildlife Rescue center at Much Wenlock. The staff their reckon that the flight feathers had been 'taken' and should grow back. They have taken 'Snowy' as it is now called, into their care. Such Leucistic birds are often easy targets for larger predators as they are easily seen. We have never come across a leucistic House Martin before though.


                                                                      Leucistic House Martin                                 Photo : Richard Pill

11 July At Frith Common, Pete and Vicki Stevens sent in this sequence of a Dragonfly emerging. They say that they have had five emergences from their pool this year so far that they are aware of, more than in any previous year. An empty case can be seen top left in the first picture.




                                                                             Sequence of Dragonfly emerging                 Photo : Vicki Stevens

On the Highwood, some more moths from the light trap of Ken Willetts as trapped over night. The Larvae of Aethes rubigana feed on the seed heads of Burdock, hence this moth is fairly well widespread in the Teme Valley. The Barred Red larvae feed on coniferous trees such as Scott's Pine. Hence, this species is far less common in our area.


                                                                             946 Aethes rubigana                                  Photo : Ken Willetts



                                                                                              Green Arches                               Photo : Ken Willetts



                                                                                  Barred Red Moth                                        Photo : Ken Willetts


9 July Over at Ludlow, Jim MacDonald came across this Swallow Tailed Moth in the garden and was able to identify it as such, from a picture of one posted by Ken Willetts this time last year (as seen in the archive).


                                                                             Swallow Tailed Moth                               Photo : Jim MacDonald

8 July On the Highwood, Ken Willetts moth trap has been busy. But here, Ken shows four images of some tiny micro moths trapped and recorded over night. These tiny moths are very often over looked by many moth recorders, but Ken is now identifying and recording these tiny species too, which is great news for the Worcs moth data base. That said, we're not too sure about this first one!


                                                                     E.abbreviana ??        (ID : Oliver Wadsworth)             Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                          424 Bird-cherry Ermine Yponomeuta evonymella                      Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                     420 Cherry Fruit Moth Argyresthia pruniella                      Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                         1292 Calamotropha Paludella                      Photo : Ken Willetts

And at the other end of the moth scale, Simone Arnold found this Large Yellow Underwing moth in the garden. Although Simone's photo doesn't show it, the moth is so named as it is 'Large' and has a 'Yellow underwing'.


                                                                                 Large Yellow Underwing                      Photo : Simone Arnold


7 July Allen & Cath Hunt had three Red Kite over their house all at the same time today. This is the first time we have had three Kite sighted in one go in the Valley. Great record!

Meantime, Caroline Roseman has been out and about with her camera on her patch at Lower Rochford. She says that she now has 20 + starlings regularly visiting and maybe even nesting in her orchard. And after wet weather especially, the Woodpeckers, Jays and Thrushes find this part of the garden of great interest? Maybe it is bringing Leather Jackets, worms or ants to the surface?


                                                                Something of interest in the grass                         Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                                            Juvenile Mistle Thrush                                Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                                  Juvenile Green Woodpecker and Jay                  Photo : Caroline Roseman

Caroline has also been getting a good mixture of bee species on her flowers.


                                                                                 Garden Bumblebee                                 Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                                              Common Carder Bee                                 Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                                                 Garden Bumblebee                                 Photo : Caroline Roseman

And Caroline also reports that she is having a bumper year for butterflies in the garden, which is great news considering the last few summers we have had locally with very few butterflies about. Caroline says that in late June (24th) she had 10 Red Admiral butterflies on the driveway and is regularly now getting 20 + Small Tortoiseshell on the Lavender in the garden. Below though, are shots of 'other' lepidoptera from the garden, showing nicely, three of the four stages of metamorphosis.


                                                                                 Mullein Moth Caterpillar                         Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                                                 Yellow Shell Moth                                 Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                                                                Chrysalis                                 Photo : Caroline Roseman

And three to finish off with. A Toad from under a stone. Some 'poo' loaded with cherry stones left on top of one of the large round hay bales. We are not sure what would or could have left this, but Jackdaw or Pheasant are probably the most likely. And finally Lesser Stitchwort, a beautiful small flower fairly common in these parts.


                                                                                          Toad                                 Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                          Poo loaded with cherry stones - but what left it?        Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                                                 Lesser Stitchwort                                 Photo : Caroline Roseman

6 July Eric Davies sent in these two great images of a Kingfisher on the River Teme. One of our most iconic river birds.




4 July Simone Arnold found this grisly scene in the bath this morning. This Harvestman Spider had encapsulated another spider for its larder.


                                                                                    Harvestman Spider                      Photo : Simone Arnold

3 July On the Highwood, Ken Willetts had a 'first record' for his garden, of this tiny Fire Thorn Leaf Miner moth Phyllonorycter leucographella This is a relative newcomer to the UK, only first being found in Essex in 1989. Since then it has dispersed throughout the UK rapidly.


                                                                        332a Phyllonorycter leucographella                     Photo : Ken Willetts


2 July Eric Davies was out with his camera in the Footrid area of Mamble today. He caught these great images on his walk.


                                                                                     Spotted Flycatcher                                  Photo : Eric Davies


                                            Mistle Thrush and juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker                      Photo : Eric Davies


                                                     Male Redstart and young - Coming in to feed                   Photo : Eric Davies


                                                                                     Male Redstart and young                      Photo : Eric Davies

At Boraston, Geoff Wookey had this Southern Hawker Dragonfly land on his shoe.


                                                                                     Southern Hawker Dragonfly                      Photo : Geoff Wookey

2 July Charlotte Hughes' brother spotted an Osprey over Charlottes farm at Hillwood Eastham today. Meantime, Stuart Smith went to see if he could get sight of the Little Egret up at Upper Sapey, and did. Originally on the ground, it flew into a tree to preen. Great to have this record in the area.


                                                                                     Little Egret #1                                  Photo : Stuart Smith


                                                                                     Little Egret #2                                  Photo : Stuart Smith


                                                                                     Little Egret #3                                  Photo : Stuart Smith

1 July Stuart Smith at Wolferlow, reports that a farmer friend, Alan Thacker, saw a Little Egret by the water jump on the Sapey Cross Country course in Wolferlow today.

29 June At Frith Common, Pete and Vicki Stevens sent in these two images. The first of a Burnished Brass moth, which was flushed up from the undergrowth. The second, their first brood of Swallows waiting to be fed.


                                                                                     Burnished Brass Moth                                  Photo : Vicki Stevens


                                                                     Young Swallows waiting to be fed                     Photo : Vicki Stevens

28 June At Kingswood, Stanford Bridge, Matthew Bailey had two large Hornets drop onto his chicken pen from an over hanging oak tree. He says they were at least two inches long. Have you seen any large hornets about this year?

27 June At Boraston today, Geoff Wookey had a Red Kite fly over the house. And at Oldwood Common, John Abbiss sent in these shots taken with his camera on the Common


                                                                                     Six Spot Burnet Moths                                  Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                                                 Ringlet                                  Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                                                 Lacewing                                  Photo : John Abbiss

26 June Driving home tonight, Chris Peacock saw a Red Kite flying over the A49 between the Tenbury turn and Ludlow. Over on the Highwood, Ken Willetts trapped and recorded these two micro moths. The Mompha Propinquella larvae feed on Rosebay Willowherb, whilst the Ash Bud moth, as the name suggests, feeds on young Ash leaves.


                                                                                       888 Mompha Propinquella                     Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                       449 Ash Bud moth                                        Photo : Ken Willetts

25 June Whilst out walking today, Geoff Wookey's dogs flushed out a Polecat very briefly that ran across the road and disappeared in the hedge.

24 June Three fantastic images sent in from Richard Pill from his patch over at Knighton on Teme.


                                                                                             Large Skipper                                          Photo : Richard Pill


                                                                                             Azure Damselfly                                   Photo : Richard Pill


                                                                                             Ringlet                                          Photo : Richard Pill

22 June In Ashbed Woods today, Geoff Wookey got a great sighting of a Garden Warbler singing its heart out on a bush beside him. Meanwhile over at Ludlow, Jim MacDonald sent in these two great images. The first of a partially leucistic blackbird showing some considerable white feathers amongst the normal black, and an Eyed Hawk Moth, one of the larger of the Hawk moths we have in the area.


                                                                               Partially leucistic Blackbird                     Photo : Jim MacDonald


                                                                                                Eyed Hawk Moth                                 Photo : Jim MacDonald


21 June John Abbiss was out and about on Oldwood Common today, where he says the grass was being cut. This attracted Red Kite, Kestrel and at least six Buzzards overhead, no doubt surveying the ground for fleeing rodents. In the undergrowth at the side of the common, he found two moth species, Large Yellow Underwing and Scorched Wing. As well as taking some nice flower and grass images.


                                                                                                 Vetch                                  Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                                             Red Kite                                       Photo :  John Abbiss          


             Assortment of grasses - Which John names as : Cocksfoot, False oat grass, Red fescue, Black bent,

             Creeping soft grass, Timothy, Wavy hair, and Bristle bent


                                                                                                Kestrel                                 Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                                                 Dog Rose                                  Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                               Kestrel dropping on prey                                  Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                        Large Yellow Underwing Moth                                  Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                                                 Ragged Robin                                  Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                                                 Dandelion                                  Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                               Common Spotted Orchid                                  Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                               Scorched Wing Moth                                  Photo : John Abbiss

19 June Geoff Wookey had a moth trap out last night and recorded this not too common, White Satin moth.


                                                                                            White Satin Moth                        Photo : Geoff Wookey

18 June Chris Kemble sent in these images from her garden. The first a pair of Bullfinch and the second a large bee she found in the window. Caroline Roseman thinks the bee is possibly the queen of a Red tailed Cuckoo bee which parasitises the nests of Red tailed Bees.


                                                                                            Bullfinch                                    Photo : Chris Kemble


                                                                                            Red tailed Cuckoo bee                        Photo : Chris Kemble

17 June Wanda Arnold had a great sighting yesterday of a Male Hen Harrier flying low over one of the local fields. Wanda is well used to seeing Hen Harriers on Islay, so identification of this seldom seen bird in this part of the country was easy, albeit a bird out of place. Meantime, Chris Peacock gave us an update of his patch saying that hes getting regular visits from a Green Woodpecker feeding on the ants on Ludlow School playing fields. And at home, Chris has a Great Spotted Woodpecker nesting in an old Ash tree at the bottom of the garden and is hearing a Cuckoo regularly over towards Brimfield Common.

16 June Chris Mussell heard a Cuckoo calling in Hanley Dingle today. And Liz Thorp sent in this photo of a nest of six Swallows in her stable. (There are six she assures us, but you can only see four !)


                                                                                             Swallow nest                        Photo : Liz Thorp

15 June Up on the Clee at Doddington, Eric Davies had two good records. First he came across the Wall butterfly, a totally under recorded species locally and quite rare in our parts. And secondly, he came across three Cuckoos, one of which perched on a wire who posed beautifully whilst Eric photographed him / her. Great day out Eric!


                                                                                             Wall Butterfly                                            Photo : Eric Davies


                                                                                             Cuckoo  #1                                           Photo : Eric Davies


                                                                                             Cuckoo  #2                                           Photo : Eric Davies

14 June At Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman came across two Redstart on her driveway today. Great to hear that these birds appear to be doing well in the Valley this year. At Knighton on Teme again, Richard Pill took these damsel fly images on a local pool.


                                                                             Large Red Damsel Fly                             Photo : Richard Pill



                                                                Common Blue Damsel flies in cop                             Photo : Richard Pill


13 June At Knighton on Teme, Richard Pill arrived home late last evening to hear an Owl in the trees in his orchard. Taking a light and camera out, he found three fledgling Tawny Owls.


                                                                 One of the three Tawny Owl chicks                             Photo : Richard Pill


                                                                             And another one!                                      Photo : Richard Pill

At Highwood, Ken Willetts trapped and recorded this tiny micro species. This is only the third record for the Teme Valley and the first time the actual adult moth has ben recorded. The other two records come from leaf mines on apple. This colourful little moth is Callisto dentculella


                                                                                     310 Callisto dentculella                                       Photo : Ken Willetts

At Ludlow again, Jim MacDonald found this Buff Tip moth and compared it with a broken twig. Great camouflage!.


                                                            Buff Tip Moth vs a broken twig                                        Photo : Jim MacDonald

12 June At Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold had his first sighting of the year of Swifts overhead. And further west at Ludlow,   Jim MacDonald had this huge Hornet turn up on his garden pond.


                                                                                       Hornet                                        Photo : Jim MacDonald


                                                                                       Hornet                                        Photo : Jim MacDonald


                                                                                       Hornet                                        Photo : Jim MacDonald

Ken Willetts trapped these two moth species which at first Glance may look the same.


                                                                                       Minor agg. species                                        Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                       Marbled White Spot                                        Photo : Ken Willetts


And at Boraston, Geoff Wookey trapped and recorded this Common Pug Moth. One of a very difficult group of moths to identify by eye.


                                                                                       Common Pug                                        Photo : Geoff Wookey

11 June Geoff Wookey at Boraston says he has Spotted Flycatchers breeding with the female sitting on the nest in a climber running up the garage wall. He's also come across a pair of Redstart at Ashbed wood which have been in the same area for a while now and showing signs of nesting. Geoff also reports that there are also a number of Willow Warbler in and around the wood, in fact more this year then any previous year. There are also a large number of Brown Silver-line (moth) in the bracken and nettles near the wood. And finally, Geoff reports that a Cuckoo is being regularly heard in Boraston village and down as far as the Peacock. Great update!

10 June David Sothers has had a pair of Stoat raise a family under one of his garden features at Rochford. This has allowed him to take some wonderful images of the parents and young in the garden. Here's a couple of the images and if you want to see more, click here.


                                                                                          Stoat 1                                             Photo : David Sothers


                                                                                           Stoat 2                                             Photo : David Sothers


More interesting moth species are still turning up at Ken Willetts light trap on the Highwood. Last night included this Stunning Peach Blossom Moth, the Lobster Moth (which gets its name from the caterpillar larvae which looks very crustacean like in appearance) and the Sandy Carpet.


                                                                                       Peach Blossom                                        Photo : Ken Willetts



                                                                                        Lobster Moth                                Photo : Ken Willetts



                                                                                    Sandy Carpet                                Photo : Ken Willetts


Over at Woonton, Alastair Hardy found two Common Spotted Orchid coming into bloom on one of his fields.

                                              orchid (768x1024).jpg

                                                                             Common Spotted Orchid               Photo : Alastair Hardy

9 June At Wolferlow, Stuart Smith had a Cuckoo calling yesterday morning after a break without hearing one for a while. Also seven Mistle Thrushes in his field some adults feeding young. He's still only seen one House Martin and no Swifts but lots of Swallows nesting in his barns

On the Highwood, Ken Willetts light trap produced another interesting species. This time it was the Large Twin Spot Carpet moth.


                                                                          Large Twin spot Carpet                                Photo : Ken Willetts

And at Upper Rochford, this tiny Tinea semifulvella moth came to Danny Arnold's light trap over night. This colourful little species lays its eggs in birds nests or wool remnants.


                                                                          246 Tinea semifulvella                               Photo : Danny Arnold

8 June At Frith Common, Pete & Vicki Stevens had the Cuckoo calling twice today. One locally to the house and one later at a distance towards Dumbleton Lane. They also had a Red Kite drift over last evening.

On the Highwood, Ken Willetts light trap was busy. He trapped and recorded this stunning little micro moth. Although there are several look alike's in this group, this is the easiest to identify as it is the only one with these distinctive yellow palps as can be seen in Ken's image. The moth is 1174 Epiblema Cynosbatella the larvae of which feed on a variety of roses including Dog Rose and even cultivated roses.


                                                                          1174 Epiblema Cynosbatella                               Photo : Ken Willetts

Whilst most of us get Blue Tits and Great Tits nesting in the garden, David & Jo Sothers at Rochford had this stunning pair of Redstart take up residence in a nest box just outside the conservatory window. Stunning images David!


                                                                         Male Redstart                               Photo : David Sothers


                                                                     Female Redstart                             Photo : David Sothers


                                              Characteristic tail flick of the Male Redstart         Photo : David Sothers

7 June On the Highwood, Ken Willetts sent in this photo of another stunning moth, the Blood Vein Moth. No prizes for working out why its called that!


                                                                                Blood vein Moth                                     Photo : Ken Willetts

6 June At Lower Rochford Caroline Roseman is getting into bee identification in a big way. Here are four images of different bees that visited her garden today.


                                                                          Buff tailed Bumblebee                                      Photo : Caroline Roseman



                                                                              Red Tailed Bumblebee                                      Photo : Caroline Roseman



                                                                       Common Carder Bee                                      Photo : Caroline Roseman



                                                                                 Buff Tailed Bee                                      Photo : Caroline Roseman


And a 'first' for Ken Willetts who trapped and recorded this Broken Barred Carpet moth over night. Great record as this moth is not that common in the Teme Valley.


                                                                                 Broken Barred Carpet Moth                                      Photo : Ken Willetts

5 June At Ham Bridge, Claudia Kazim reported a very young dead Otter on the road today. Great to hear that Otters are doing well on the Teme. Unfortunate though re being a road kill. And yet another Tree Bee spot in the Valley. This time by Simone Arnold who took this picture in her garden of the Tree Bee and a Buff Tailed Bee on a flower. {Editor update - The Buff Tailed Bee has been identified by Caroline Roseman as a Garden Bumblebee}


                                                                 Tree Bee (Bombus hypnorum)             Photo : Simone Arnold

4 June At Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman has been out and about on her patch and taken these great images. The first is of a pair of Canadian Geese which have nested on her pool and are currently rearing five young. The second is of a rather messy Starlings nest. Nothing like letting people know where you're nesting!! The third picture, Caroline believes is Hover fly larvae on Hogweed, unless you know differently! And the final image is of one of the many Ground beetles we have in the area.


                                                                  Canadian Geese and young                                      Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                                                                  Starling Nest                                      Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                                        Hover fly larvae on Hogweed                            Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                                                      Ground Beetle                                      Photo : Caroline Roseman

On Oldwood Common, John Abbiss photographed these two caterpillars and correctly identified them as the Vapourer Moth and Yellow Tail Moth.


                                                                                 Vapourer Moth Caterpillar                                  Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                                 Yellow Tail Moth Caterpillar                                  Photo : John Abbiss

3 June After saying there are only a handful of green coloured moths in the UK, Ken Willetts trapped another green species last night, this stunning Green Arches moth. This is rather an early emergence for this species as it is not usually seen until late July / August. The larvae feed on Oak buds and leaves. The second image Ken sent in is that of a moth called ...the Scorched Wing. Its not difficult to figure out why the Victorian entomologists called it this!


                                                                                 Green Arches Moth                                      Photo : Ken Willetts



                                                                                 Scorched Wing Moth                                      Photo : Ken Willetts


2 June Pete & Vicki Stevens at Lower Frith report the Cuckoo is still being heard in the Dumbleton Lane area. They also report seeing a Red Kite drift over their house this evening.

Ken Willetts moth trap is really producing some stunning moths of late. Last night saw this stunning Green Silver Lines moth come in. One of only a handful of Green moths in the UK.


                                                                                 Green Silver Lines                                      Photo : Ken Willetts

1 June Ken Willetts took this stunning Elephant Hawk Moth at his light trap last night. First one of the year. Meantime, at Knighton on Teme, Richard Pill has been out with his new camera and took this fantastic image of a Broad Bodied Chaser dragonfly. Super image Richard!


                                                                             Broad Bodied Chaser                                      Photo : Richard Pill


                                                                             Elephant hawk Moth                                      Photo : Ken Willetts

31 May Another quite smart looking little micro moth that came into Ken Willetts light trap on the HighWood last night. This is A.badiana, a tiny moth measuring only a few millimeters. The larvae of this moth feed on Vetches, Peas and Clover.


                                                                             1126 A.badiana                                      Photo : Ken Willetts


30 May In Tenbury near St Mary's Church, Faye Pritchard heard a Cuckoo. The first one we think, reported from this area.  And John Abbiss has been out and about with his camera again. The last two pictures are taken from the Wyre Forest, just out of our usual reporting area. They show Wood Ants and a Silver Washed Fritilary If you are interested in seeing this butterfly in our area, go look in Hunthouse Wood where it is present.  John also sent in these other pictures from his garden at Oldwood Common.


                                                                   Great Spotted Woodpecker (Male)                             Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                                  Mullein Moth Caterpillar                                  Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                                  Buff Tip Moths in Cop                                  Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                        Wood Ants in the Wyre Forest                              Photo : John Abbiss


                                                               Silver Washed Fritillary in the Wyre Forest                      Photo : John Abbiss

29 May Stuart Smith met someone today who was aware of a Blackbird feeding a Cuckoo fledgling at a nest in Martley. And Brian Marsh at Eardiston reports having Tree Bees nesting under his roof tiles. These bees are relatively new to the UK, but we have now had several local reports of them being in and around the Teme Valley in good numbers. Keep a look out for them, they have a very distinctive coluration, being a chestnut brown thorax, a black abdomen with a white backside!! If you see any, let us know.

28 May At Upper Sapey, Sandra Morton had two Cuckoos calling at one time from two different woods. Sandra has also had a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker in her orchard too. This is a 'first' for her and a great record, as these birds are very scarce in these parts.

27 May On the Cuckoo front again, regular contributors, Caroline Roseman at Lower Rochford, Vicki Stevens at Lower Frith Common and David Evans at Menith Wood all heard a Cuckoo in their respective patches today. All these birds have been reported before by these folk, so clearly there are stable Cuckoo territories in these areas.

Vicki Stevens also sent in this great photo of a moth they found in the house which Vicki correctly identified as a White Ermine. This year has been a particularly good year for this species with lots turning up at light traps in the area. The larvae are quite gregarious, feeding on a variety of herbaceous plants.


                                                                            White Ermine Moth                                       Photos : Vicki Stevens

Over at Knighton on Teme, Margaret Bradley saw this Little Owl fly into a Damson tree in the Orchard, so she popped back indoors to get her camera. Fortunately it was still there. Later, she got it perched on one of the farm buildings. Great photos to see Margaret.




                                                                                         Little Owl                                       Photos : Margaret Bradley

26 May Over towards Oldwood Common, David Patrick heard a Cuckoo briefly from his house today.

23 May Following our appeal for Cuckoo updates locally, we have now had the following information in which shows that there are several birds around in the Teme Valley Area. The following people have reported birds which are probably all different birds, staying in the same general area for at least the last two weeks.

Cuckoo's have been reported by:

     David Faulkner - Knowbury

     Phil Morgan & Mike Harley - Menith Wood (Phil also saw a Stoat by the Cross Keys in Menith Wood today)

     Tim Studer - Kingswood

     Julia Berry & Anna Turner - Stoke Bliss

     Angie Hill - Martley

     Steph Mocroft & Nick & Sheila Benbow - Frith Common

     Sandra Morton - Upper Sapey

     Cherie Jordan - Lower Frith

     Suzanne Thomas - Coreley and Catherton Common

     David Whymant - Pensax Common (two birds)

     Wanda Arnold - Upper Rochford

     Joyce Horsforth - Eastham

The above reports all corroborate with earlier reports from other people of birds in the various areas. Thanks to everybody who has been sending in Cuckoo reports in. This means that within our Teme Valley area, there are probably at least 12 calling Cuckoo's which is double the number reported last year. Great news for a bird in decline.

At Frith Common, Nick Benbow says that they have already got fledgling House Sparrows, Song Thrush, Blackbirds and Blue Tits and that Starlings are nesting in an old tree. Nick also came across three Slow Worms in the compost heap today.

At Rochford, Jo Sothers report a pair of Redstart nesting in one of their nest boxes by the house. What a great Garden record that is!

And up on Oldwood Common, John Abbiss sent in this selection of photos, having been out with his camera.


                                                   Webs made by caterpillars of the Spindle Ermine moth               Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                                              Baby Rabbit                                 Photo : John Abbiss

22 May On the Highwood, Ken Willetts trapped and recorded three new species of moth for the year. Like the Small Magpie Chris Kemble recorded yesterday, the first of the moths, the Pseudargyrotoza conwagana also has larvae that feed on Ash.


                                                                            Pseudargyrotoza conwagana                           Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                          Ingrailed Clay                                      Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                          Shuttle Shaped Dart                         Photo : Ken Willetts

21 May At Knighton on Teme, Chris Kemble reports still hearing the Cuckoo about. She also found this colourful  moth on the window this morning. This is known as the Small Magpie Moth. The larvae of this species feed on Ash, hence there is plenty of the food plant about in the Valley for this species to feed on.


                                                                                          Small Magpie Moth                             Photo : Chris Kemble

18 May At Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold trapped and recorded this tiny micro moth over night. Not that common locallY, as the larvae feed on Lilac and Privet. Caloptilia syringella this is one of the easier of the Caloptilia species to identify. .


                                                                                   293 Caloptilia syringella                             Photo : Danny Arnold

At Boraston, Geoff Wookey has had two Spotted Flycatchers return to the garden, looking for a nest site. And over at Stoke Bliss, Chris & Jenny Rodgers took this photo of a Broad Bodied Chaser Dragonfly as it emerged from the water having pupated. The wings were still drying at the time this shot was taken.


                                                                                   Broad Bodied Chaser                             Photo : Chris & Jenny Rodgers

17 May At Oldwood Common, John Abbiss has been out with his camera again today. The Common is currently covered in Buttercups. John also photographed a Mayfly nymph, A Mistle Thrush and some Ribwort Plantain.


                                                                     Buttercups on Oldwood Common                         Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                                                  Mayfly                         Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                                         Mistle Thrush                                Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                                         Ribwort Plantain                                Photo : John Abbiss

And at Boraston, Geoff Wookey trapped and recorded this rather early Small Square Spot moth.


                                                                                     Small Square Spot Moth                             Photo : Geoff Wookey

16 May At Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold took this tiny white moth at a light trap over night. Measuring only around 5mm in length, the larvae of this Elachista argentella moth, lives and feeds both in and on a variety of grasses.


                                                                                   610 Elachista argentella                            Photo : Danny Arnold


15 May Vicki Stevens at Lower Frith recorded a Cuckoo again this morning, as did Geoff Wookey at Boraston. Geoff also had a Red Kite over the house this morning. A Red Kite was seen later in the day over Upper Rochford by Danny Arnold who also heard a Cuckoo in the wood at Hill Top.

13 May Geoff Wookey trapped and recorded this Lime Hawk moth at his light trap over night. As the name implies, this species is somewhat dependant on the Lime tree in its larval form, although it will utilise other deciduous species if Lime is not present.


                                                                                     Lime Hawk Moth                             Photo : Geoff Wookey

12 May John Abbiss has been out with his camera again today. Took some great photos of plants on one of the lanes off and around Oldwood Common. Thanks to Caroline Roseman for confirming the ID's.


                                                                                          Large Red Damselfly                                Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                                                 Herb Paris                                Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                                                   Alkanet                                       Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                                                Stitchwort                                       Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                  Forget-me-not & gerrymander Speedwell.                     Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                                          Hawthorn in flower.                                Photo : John Abbiss

10 May At Boraston, Geoff Wookey took a whole host of new moth species for the year at his light trap over night. They included, Common Marbled Carpet, Chocolate Tip and this stunning Clouded Bordered Brindle.


                                                                                     Clouded Bordered Brindle                       Photo : Geoff Wookey

6 May There appears to be some Cuckoo's about today. Alan Micklethwait both heard and saw the bird at Lower Rochford Church this morning. And over at Kingswood west of Martley, Tim Studer heard a bird calling.

Over at Oldwood Common, John Abbiss was out in the garden an took a range of interesting photos. If anybody can name and identify the flies, we would like to hear from them.


                                                                                           A frog in the pond                                Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                             A common or smooth Newt                          Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                             Mating Orange-tip butterflies                            Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                                                   Fly 1                                                 Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                                                   Fly 2                                                 Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                              Unidentified caterpillar                                  Photo : John Abbiss

4 May New in for the year, Geoff Wookey recorded these two species of moth from his light trap last night. Measuring in at just over two and a half inches in wing span, this Poplar Hawk Moth came in. This is the most common of the Hawk Moths we have in the Teme Valley and the species will be about until well into the summer. The other species is a less common one, going by the name of Coxcomb Prominent, the larvae of which feed on a range of deciduous plants.


                                                                                  Poplar Hawk Moth                     Photo : Geoff Wookey


                                                                                  Coxcomb Prominent                     Photo : Geoff Wookey

3 May At Lower Frith, Rob Humphreys had a Red Kite circling around at 10am this morning.

2 May Two Cuckoo's heard today in different locations. One by Doh Gannon at Sapey Common, in the woods towards Clifton. The other, by Vicki Stevens who heard a bird in the Dumbleton Lane area of Eardiston.

1 May Nick Benbow had his first Cuckoo calling today. It was the one reported from over at Menith Wood. Presumably the same bird? At Highwood, Ken Willetts took this Tawny Pinion which was a new moth for his garden list. This species is not very common and has hardly been seen at all for the past two years locally. This year however, it does seem to be doing better with a few more being trapped in the local light traps.


                                                                                          Tawny Pinion                                      Photo : Ken Willetts

30 April Mike Harley sent an email across to say that the Cuckoo is still around at Menith Wood. Almost certainly the same bird as reported earlier, now setting up a territory. Geoff Wookey was out in the garden at Boraston cutting the grass when two small moths alighted on his jumper. They turned out to be Small Yellow Underwing....and it turns out, that there have only ever been two other records for this species in the Teme Valley!


                                                                                   Small Yellow Underwing                     Photo : Geoff Wookey

And whilst on moths, last night saw three new species for the year for Ken Willetts light trap. Ken lured in to his trap and recorded, White Pinion Spotted, Least Black Arches and a tiny Parornix species. Ken also took a walk out to Hunthouse Wood to photograph the Bluebells today.


                                                                                           Least Black Arches                                      Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                                White Pinion Spotted                                  Photo : Ken Willetts


                                                                              A tiny Parornix species of moth                           Photo : Ken Willetts



                                                                         Bluebells in Hunthouse Wood                                  Photos : Ken Willetts

29 April Chris Kemble heard the Cuckoo at Knighton on Teme again today, indicating that it looks like the bird is staying in the area setting up a territory. And over at Upper Rochford, Chris Mussell spotted the Tawny Owl roosting in the same tree as reported a few days ago.

28 April Cathy Tongue at Lower Frith heard her first Cuckoo of the year. Infact, the first Cuckoo from her new house, having recently just moved in.

27 April Over at Woonton today, Alastair Hardy heard his first Cuckoo from the house today. Ken Willetts took his camera up onto the Clee today and managed to photograph this male Wheatear. In Ashbed Woods today, Geoff Wookey heard his first Willow Warbler . In fact, this is the first record we have received for this bird this year.


                                                                                           Wheatear                                            Photo : Ken Willetts

At Great Witley, Sallyann Williams took this lovely photo of a Wood Mouse that was totally unaware of their close proximity and to the camera in hand.


                                                                                   Wood Mouse                                      Photo : Sallyann Williams

26 April Like Ken Willetts a couple of nights ago, Geoff Wookey's light trap also pulled in a Muslin moth overnight. Geoff also trapped and recorded this spectacular Waved Umber. What fantastic camouflage!


                                                                                   Waved Umber                                      Photo : Geoff Wookey

25 April At Lower Rochford today , Caroline Roseman sent in this photo of a bee at her window. Caroline has identified it as Bombus pascuorum.


                                                                               Bombus pascuorum                                      Photo : Caroline Roseman

24 April At Wolferlow, Stuart Smith had the Yellow Wagtail back again today, along with seven Wheatear and two Mistle Thrushes.

On the Highwood, Ken Willetts recorded this Frosted Green Moth over night. A nice species that is not overly common in this area.


                                                                                           Frosted Green Moth                                 Photo : Ken Willetts

At Knighton on Teme, Chris Kemble reports hearing her first Cuckoo of the year today. Chris also sent in these two shots from her garden. Two Small Tortoiseshell butterflies and a Heron.


                                                                    Small Tortoiseshell butterflies                                 Photo : Chris Kemble


                                                                                          Heron                                 Photo : Chris Kemble

At Upper Rochford, Elizabeth Knowles heard her first Cuckoo of the year today and, possibly the same bird, at Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman heard the Cuckoo today from her house, first time in years she says. Caroline also saw a Red Kite fly over. Caroline also sent in these three 'tree' pictures. The first shows an amazing array of fungi on a fallen tree in the orchard. The second shows a Black Poplar with a lot of humous in the cleft of the branches, with a Hawthorn growing in it. And the third, a tree that had fallen in the wind, yet is still flowering.


                                                                                                  Fungi                                      Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                                     Hawthorn growing on Black Poplar                       Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                                           Fallen Flowering Tree                                      Photo : Caroline Roseman

Then a further three shots :


                                                                           Black Poplar Catkin                                      Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                                                               Herb Robert                              Photo : Caroline Roseman


                                                                           Bracket Fungi on dead Tree                          Photo : Caroline Roseman


23 April At Lower Frith, Catherine Tounge found a 'midwife Toad' at the back of a hedge today, carrying eggs.

22 April Clearly staying in the same territory now, Mike Harley heard the Cuckoo at Menith Wood this morning.

21 April At Stoke Bliss, Chris & Jenny Rodgers heard their first Cuckoo calling of the year. And at Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman, whilst out gardening saw that the Swallows and House Martins were back around the House. She also reports seeing several Orange Tip Butterflies in the garden.

20 April On the Little Hereford side of Burford, Peter & Mary Hitt heard their first Cuckoo of the year today. And on the Highwood, Ken Willetts light trap tempted in this Muslin Moth.


                                                                                           Muslin Moth                                 Photo : Ken Willetts

19 April At Menith Wood, Peter Thomas was awoken by the arrival of a Cuckoo in the garden, calling at 5am this morning!

At Wolferlow, Stuart Smith reports seeing 1-3 Wheatear in his field each morning over the last week as they migrate through but, this morning he had seven (5 male, 2 female) and a Meadow Pipit (last week it was 11 meadow pipits). He also reports that Chiffchaffs back in numbers now and Swallows arrived on the 15th, just one day earlier than last year.


                                                                             Male Wheatear                 Photo : Stuart Smith

On the Highwood, Ken Willetts light trap brought in the Powdered Quaker Moth last night.


                                                                             Powdered Quaker                              Photo : Ken Willetts

And on Oldwood Common, John Abbiss too these couple of shots from in his shed and the garden.


                                                                             A 'House Spider' in the shed!                 Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                                      Angle Shades Moth                                   Photo : John Abbiss


                                                                 Plenty of pollinating insects about today                 Photo : John Abbiss

17 April A Tawny Owl was noted sitting in a tree at Rochford early this morning by Chris Mussell.

Meantime, up on the Clee, Dave Barnes managed to get this quick snap of a Stoat.


                                                                                             Stoat                                  Photo : Dave Barnes

16 April At Neen Sollars, Eric Davies took a couple of butterfly photographs in the garden. The first of a Holly Blue and the second, a male Orange Tip. Eric also photographed a pair of Goosander on the River Rea at Neen Sollars.


                                                                                             Holly Blue                                  Photo : Eric Davies


                                                                                             Orange Tip                                  Photo : Eric Davies


                                                                                             Goosander                                  Photo : Eric Davies

At Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold took this shot of a Mallard on one of his pools.


                                                                                      Mallard                                          Photo: Danny Arnold

15 April At Boraston, Geoff Wookey spotted a Tawny Owl roosting in a tree in Ashbed woods today. And later in the garden, he noted his Housemartins were back nest building under the eaves of the house. In the light trap last night, Geoff also trapped and recorded this Pebble Prominent moth.


                                                                                   Pebble Prominent                               Photo: Geoff Wookey

And the Red Kite that was spotted out towards Hanley Broadheath and the Upper Sapey Crossroads, was again spotted today, this time by Tim Studer. Tim just managed to get a quick photo with his phone.


                                                                                              Red Kite                                         Photo: Tim Studer

And Alan Althorp also had a Red Kite at Dinham Bridge at 5:30pm this afternoon.

13 April Clearly a large influx of Swallows have come in over the past 24 hours. At Boraston, Geoff Wookey reported his first for the year over the house. At Hillwood, Jeremy Hughes reported them over his farmhouse, and he also saw a Red Kite between the Fox pub and Upper Sapey cross roads at 2.15pm today. Rob Humpherys had a pair of Swallows at Eardiston, John Abbiss at Oldwood Common had Swallows going over, as did Chris Mussell at Stanford Bridge. Like Jeremy, Chris also saw the Red Kite this afternoon, which could well be the same bird as the two sightings were geographically quite close both in terms of timings and proximity. Brian Draper also had Swallows at the Tally Ho pub at Broadheath. Summer is here!

The Wildlife Group had its first walk of the year today. This was held over at Neen Sollars led by Alastair Hardy and Steph Mocroft


                                                                          The walk around Neen Sollars      Photo : Austin Palmer

And whilst a little out of our area, Eric Davies took this brilliant photo of a Yellow Wagtail whilst down at the gravel pits at Grimley today. Yellow Wagtails are never reported in the Teme Valley.....unless you know differently!...Let us know if you see one.


                                                                                             Yellow Wagtail                                  Photo : Eric Davies

At Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold took advantage of the blue sky and white Cherry Blossom to capture this image.


                                                                                      Cherry Blossom                                          Photo: Danny Arnold

12 April At Clifton on Teme, Roger Arnold spooked a Snipe out of some cover on his walk around his patch. He also reports his first Swallow of the year too. Two Red Kites have also been spotted in the area.

Meanwhile over at Boraston, Geoff Wookey had his light trap out last night an lured in yet another Ypsolopha mucronella, the fifth record for Shropshire by our reckoning. Geoff also recorded this very early Brimstone Moth (not to be confused with the Brimstone Butterfly) and a Powdered Quaker, which was new for his garden moth list. He also sent across this image of a couple of Blackbird fledglings. They got up and went the following day!


                                                                                   451 Ypsolopha mucronella                               Photo: Geoff Wookey


                                                                                   Brimstone Moth                               Photo: Geoff Wookey


                                                                                   Powdered Quaker                               Photo: Geoff Wookey


                                                                                   Fledgling Blackbirds                               Photo: Geoff Wookey

11 April In the garden today, Pete Thorp had a Beefly on the flowers. First he's seen he said. And over at Lower Frith Common, Rob Humphreys had his first Swallows back.

10 April Bettering yesterdays sighting, Pete Stevens had Two Red Kite over his house at Lower Frith today, drifting upstream towards Eastham and Rochford.

9 April Annabel Elliott emailed to say that she has had her first sighting of a Swallow at her house at Hanley Childe today, flying into the outbuildings checking out last year's nest sites - 6 days earlier than last year.

Pete Stevens had a Red Kite drifting over the house at Lower Frith Common today, in both directions a couple of hours apart.

And on the Highwood, Ken Willetts light trap trapped this Lunar Marbled Brown Moth last night. Rather early for this species but always nice to see. And less nice to see, he also photographed one of many rabbits which continually attack his veg patch!


                                                                                        Rabbit attack!                               Photo: Ken Willetts


                                                                                        Lunar Marbled Brown                               Photo: Ken Willetts

8 April Two more Red Kite sightings today. One on the A44 on the Worcs / Herefordshire border spotted by Brenda Allan and the other by Janice Lucas flying over a field adjacent to her house at Eastham.

7 April Red Kite sightings are coming in thick and fast now. At Knighton on Teme, Margaret Bradley had Two Reds Kite over one of her fields today. Meanwhile at Lower Rochford, Sandra Willmott also had a Red Kite over Rochford Church today.

Ken Willetts on the Highwood trapped and recorded this Purple Thorn moth over night.


                                                                                        Purple Thorn                               Photo: Ken Willetts

And John Abbiss at Oldwood Common John had a large flock of Starlings alight in a tree across the road temporarily. Just enough time to get a photo. John was also clearing some weed out of his garden pool today and found an array of water bourne insects, including this dragonfly nymph and caddis grub house made of vegetation stems, amongst the vegetation. As John says, it is important not to move such vegetation away from a pool when clearing it out. By leaving it on the side for a couple of days, it allows the water bourne invertebrates to crawl back into the water unharmed. .


                                                                                        Starlings                                            Photo: John Abbiss


                                                                                        Caddis fly larvae                                            Photo: John Abbiss


                                                                                        Dragonfly nymph                                            Photo: John Abbiss

6 April At Menith Wood, Phil Morgan was having a wildlife survey done on his patch. Amongst other things, this Yellow Necked Mouse turned up.


                                                                                        Yellow necked Mouse                                   Photo: Phil Morgan

At Danny Arnold's light trap at Upper Rochford, this tiny but very distinctive micro moth came in. Epermenia chaerophyllella The larvae feed on Hogweed, Wild Parsnip and Angelica.


                                                                        483 Epermenia chaerophyllella                          Photo: Danny Arnold

4 April Elissa Hughes reports two Red Kite sightings recently over Pitlands farm at Clifton (15th March & 2nd April) and over Park Lane, Sapey Common on the 16th March. Elissa says that geographically, these two sites are very close together, so it could well be the same bird.

3 April At Abberley, Wilfred Bennett had a Red Kite drift over today. At Caynham, David Faulkner's Lesser Redpoll were back and this time, he managed to get a photo. Well done David. And at Highwood, Ken Willetts trapped and recorded this relatively scarce macro moth the Lead Coloured Drab.


                                                                                     Lesser Redpoll                               Photo: David Faulkner


                                                                                     The Lead Coloured Drab                               Photo: Ken Willetts

2 April More busy moth traps on either side of the Valley last night. Geoff Wookey at Boraston recorded several species including this 451 Ypsolopha mucronella. Geoff already has the second and third records for Shropshire for this species and this specimen is the fourth record for the County. Interestingly, Geoff also says that the first record was as a larvae found at Stokesay, so in fact, Geoff has had all three adult moths for this species recorded in Shropshire. Geoff also took last night, Brindled Beauty and a Streamer, so called because of its streamer type wing markings.


                                                                                    451 Ypsolopha mucronella                               Photo: Geoff Wookey


                                                                                    Brindled Beauty                               Photo: Geoff Wookey


                                                                                    Streamer Moth                               Photo: Geoff Wookey

On the other side of the Valley, Ken Willetts took these two species.


                                                                                     The Herald Moth                               Photo: Ken Willetts


                                                                                     663 Diurnea fagella                               Photo: Ken Willetts

1 April David Faulkner over at Caynham reports a pair of Bullfinch in the garden. The first time in several years he says. David also had a male Lesser Redpoll in full breeding plumage and to top the day off, a Red Kite flew over....twice! Great days birding in the back garden! And whilst on Red Kite's, Chris Mussell had a Red Kite over his garden today too at Stanford Bridge. This bird was flying off towards Sapey Common / Clifton hotly pursued by two Jackdaws.

31 March Geoff Wookey and Ken Willetts moth traps were busy overnight. Ken took this tiny micro moth Mompha substrigella whilst Geoff took his first Pug moth of the year. Fortunately it was about the easiest of this group to identify, a Double Striped Pug.


                                                                                     Mompha substrigella                               Photo: Ken Willetts


                                                                                     Double Striped Pug                               Photo: Geoff Wookey

Meanwhile at Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman also had her camera out and took some lovely images of wildlife on her patch.


                                                                                     Woodpecker Nest??                               Photo: Caroline Roseman


                                                                                     Baren Strawberry                               Photo: Caroline Roseman


                                                                                     March Cowslip                               Photo: Caroline Roseman


                                                                                     Greater Stichwort                               Photo: Caroline Roseman


                                                                                     Wood anemone                               Photo: Caroline Roseman

30 March Geoff Wookey over at Boraston had a female Goshawk flying low over the fields and being pursued by a couple of Crows adjacent to Ashbed Woods today. A first for Geoff's patch.


28 March Jeremy Hughes reports seeing a Red Kite at Stockton Today. Whilst up at Clifton - on - Teme , Lynda Emery managed to get this great photo of a Lesser Redpoll in the garden today. Lyn says its the first one she's had in the garden, so even better she got the photo too. Great record Lyn.


                                                                                     Lesser Redpoll                               Photo: Lynda Emery

27 March Vicki Stevens saw a Red Kite low over Woodston flying to wards Eardiston at mid-day today.

25 March Sandra Morton sent over an email saying that she had a Merlin sighting on her farm today. This is a great record for this relatively scarce raptor in the Teme Valley.

On the Highwood, Ken Willetts managed to photograph a Red Kite that was flying low over his house in the morning drizzle. Interestingly, this bird had wing tags. On the Left wing was a black tag number 08 and on the Right wing was a yellow tag 08. The colour coding tells us that this is a Welsh bird (Black left wing tag) and was tagged as a juvenile in 2013 (Yellow right wing tag) - i.e. is a 1 year old this year. There was a yellow tag also used in 2004, but local Red Kite expert Leo Smith confirms this is a bird from last year based on colouring and degree of wing fork. For more info on the tagging code system used to determine where these birds are from and how old they are, follow this link http://www.gigrin.co.uk/redkitetags-explained.php




                                                                                     Wing Tagged Red Kite                               Photos: Ken Willetts

24 March Chris & Jenny Rogers report seeing a Red Kite on the Tenbury / Bromyard road today. Meanwhile, Tim Studer over at Martley reports the first Swallows of the year back in the area. He had three over his house this morning. He says that these are about three weeks earlier than usual. Tim also came across this Dark edged bee fly in the garden at the weekend. There are several species of Bee-fly in the UK, of which, this is the largest and most common.


                                                                                     Dark edged Bee-fly                               Photo: Tim Studer

23 March More evidence that rare moths do extremely well in the Teme Valley habitats. This White Marked Moth came to Ken Willetts light trap over night.


                                                                                     White Marked Moth                               Photo: Ken Willetts

22 March At Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold came across this Nuthatch making a nest in an old Woodpecker hole in an Ash tree. Nuthatch will typically use old holes, which if too big for their needs, they will reduce the opening size by partially blocking up the hole with mud. Hence what this bird was doing with a beak full of mud.


                                                                                        Nuthatch                                                Photo: Danny Arnold

Also at Upper Rochford, Danny came across this rather tattered Small Tortoiseshell butterfly making the most of the spring sunshine today. This butterfly, given its condition, had almost certainly over wintered as an adult.


                                                                                        Small Tortoiseshell                             Photo: Danny Arnold

21 March At the Highwood / Eastham junction on the lower road, Jeremy Hughes reports seeing a Red Kite over the field today. This is only the second record this year in the Valley.

Another one of the very small micro moths that can be found at this time of year. This Agonopterix arenella came to light for Ken Willetts last night.


                                                                                     Agonopterix arenella                              Photo: Ken Willetts

20 March Up on the Highwood, Ken Willetts trap was again buzzing over night. Ken sent in this image of the Water Carpet moth, the first that's been recorded this year in the Teme Valley. Some years this moth appears in good numbers. Other years, less so. It'll be interesting to see how it fairs in 2014. The larvae feed on bedstraws. The adult is found in damp woodland and scrub.


                                                                                       Water Carpet Moth                               Photo: Ken Willetts


                                                                                       Early Thorn                                             Photo: Ken Willetts

19 March It just goes to show the benefit of persistent recording and just how special the Teme Valley is a moth habitat in Worcs. Last night, Ken Willetts got in on the action recording another Caloptilia falconipennella, this very rare Worcs moth, just days after Danny Arnold recorded it a little further along the Valley.


                                                                         289 Caloptilia falconipennella                               Photo: Ken Willetts

And another rare moth came to Danny Arnold's light trap at Upper Rochford last night. This time a larger macro moth, a charcoal looking Tawny Pinion. There are currently only 21 previous records for this species in the whole of Worcs., 6 of which have come to Danny's light traps in the Teme Valley.



                                                                                         Tawny Pinion                     Photo: Danny Arnold

18 March At Stoke Bliss, Chris & Jenny Rogers are also reporting the presence of Brimstone Butterflies in their garden, along with Small Tortoiseshells. They also report plenty of Newt activity going on in their ponds.

In the dingle at Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold heard his first Chiffchaff of the year this morning. Spring is Sprung!

Wanda Arnold reports seeing a Red Kite very close to the road by the Church on the bank at Stanford bridge today. This is the first reported Red Kite sighting of the year in the Teme Valley.

At Highwood last night, Ken Willetts trapped this Mottled Grey moth. Danny Arnold also trapped this species at Upper Rochford last night, as indeed did Geoff Wookey at Boraston, indicating that there may have been a fresh emergence over the last few days. There are currently around ten records for this species from the Teme Valley, with most other records coming from around the Malvern area and within the Wyre Forest. So this species is quite localised. As a species, the Mottled Grey prefers damp woodland and heathland. The larvae feed on bedstraws.


                                                                                        Mottled Grey                                              Photo: Ken Willetts

Another moth whose larvae feed on Bedstraws (and Groundsel in this case) is the Red Chestnut moth. This is a widespread moth in the county of Worcs, but it is worth noting that around 25% of all county records for this species comes from the Teme Valley. This individual was recorded last night by Ken  and Geoff in their respective locations.


                                                                                        Red Chestnut                                              Photo: Ken Willetts

Meantime, a little lower down the slope of the valley, Danny Arnold also trapped and recorded the first White Marked moth of the year. This is a very interesting species, in so far as very little is known about its life cycle. It appears to prefer damp woodland but has yet to be found as larvae in the wild. The Teme Valley is responsible for over 70% of all White Marked records in Worcs, making it an otherwise quite scarce species in the county.


                                                                                  White Marked Moth                               Photo: Danny Arnold

17 March Having recorded only the fourth record for the Teme Valley of the Yellow Horned Moth a few days ago (see below), along comes the fifth record, this time to Geoff Wookey's light trap at Boraston.


                                                                                 Yellow Horned Moth                               Photo: Geoff Wookey

At Lower Frith, having spent last weekend in the garden sunshine, Pete Stevens reports seeing Brimstone, Comma, Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies in the garden.

16 March One of the rarest moths in Worcs, with only a handful of records, the Teme Valley is rapidly becoming the place to record this tiny Caloptilia moth. This is Caloptilia falconipennella, the larvae of which feed primarily on Alder. This was trapped to light at Upper Rochford last night, by Danny Arnold.


                                                                         289 Caloptilia falconipennella                               Photo: Danny Arnold

At the light trap on the Highwood, Ken Willetts sent in these two images of moths coming in over night. The Small Quaker is quite a common moth locally. The micro moth Acleris cristana, less so. One of the distinguishing features of this moth, from other similar moths, is the tuft of scales, clearly seen on Kens image.


                                                                                        Small Quaker                                              Photo: Ken Willetts


                                                                                        1054 Acleris cristana                                  Photo: Ken Willetts

15 March The Upper Rochford light trap at Danny Arnold's house produced this small, Diurnea fagella moth. This moth is quite widespread in some woodland, although not too many records turn up in the Teme Valley. The females of this species are virtually wingless and therefore flightless.


                                                                                        Diurnea fagella                               Photo: Danny Arnold

14 March Always nice to see at a light trap, the Pale Pinion moth. The larvae feed on Sallow and Docks. This specimen fell to Danny Arnold's light trap.


                                                                                        Pale Pinion                               Photo: Danny Arnold

12 March Taking advantage of the better weather, Geoff Wookey got in on the action last night by putting his light trap out. He recorded his biggest haul of moths this year with a total of 49 moths in the trap last night. He had just 5 species though. There were good numbers of Common Quaker, Small Quaker and Hebrew Character also had one each of March Moth and Shoulder Stripe.

Meantime at Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman came across this Great Crested Newt, another species that is generally rare, but quite widespread in the Teme Valley.


                                                                                Great Creasted Newt                                    Photo: Caroline Roseman

11 March We are doing well for over winterinmg moths this year. Another Herald moth has come out of its winter tauper and was found by Caroline Roseman.


                                                                                        Herald Moth                                    Photo: Caroline Roseman

And at Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold trapped and recorded this Yellow Horned Moth over night. This is only the fourth record for the Teme Valley and is not usually found very far from old and established Woodland. It's name comes about from the fact that the males (this is a female) have quite distinctive yellow antennae.


                                                                                        Yellow Horned Moth                               Photo: Danny Arnold

At Stanford Bridge today, Teresa Dongworth spotted and unusual Pheasant in a field. Teresa says that she was not sure what it was to start with, but in the end decided it was definitely a completely white pheasant. Such birds are recorded, though this is the first time one has been recorded in the Teme Valley.

10 March Chris Peacock dropped a note in to say that he's got Long Tailed Tits nesting in a hedge and this morning, had an early Bat flying around the house at dawn, presumably enticed out by the warmer weather. Chris also says he's now getting a pair of Greenfinch regularly in the garden.

Over at Martley, Tim Studer had 4 Brimstone butterflies, 3 Comma, 2 Tortoiseshell and a Peacock out in the garden yesterday.

And Stuart Smith also saw a Brimstone Butterfly, at Ham Bridge yesterday. Brimstone butterflies seem to be doing well this year.

Eric Davies took a walk in the sunshine up on the Clee Hill yesterday. As well as the Skylark, which is always nice to see, Eric came across this pool that was 'rippling'. On closer inspection, he found it full of frogs and frog spawn.


                                                                                              Skylark                                                Photo: Eric Davies


                                                                                          Pool on the Clee                                   Photo: Eric Davies


                                                                                              Frogs                                                Photo: Eric Davies


                                                                                              Frogs 1                                                Photo: Eric Davies


                                                                                                Frogs 2                                                Photo: Eric Davies

....And here are some more images of spring moths coming into Ken Willetts light trap over night.


                                                                                           Early Grey                             Photo: Ken Willetts


                                                                                        Engrailed                                              Photo: Ken Willetts


                                                                                        Grey Shoulder Knot                             Photo: Ken Willetts

9 March The Victorian entomologists were responsible for most of the vernacular or common names given to our moths. Very often, the name reflected something to do with the moth itself. This is a good example, the Twin Spotted Quaker recorded overnight by Ken Willetts.


                                                                                        Twin Spotted Quaker                             Photo: Ken Willetts

And in Danny Arnold's light trap at Upper Rochford, this tiny green Acleris literana moth came in to light over night. This moth that is associated with Oak, does very well in the Teme Valley, though is less widespread elsewhere in Worcs.


                                                                                     1061 Acleris literana                             Photo : Danny Arnold

8 March Moths are coming in to the light traps all round the valley now that the weather has improved and got a little warmer.

A nice little micro moth came into Danny Arnold's light trap last night Agonopterix alstromeriana. This is a species that first appears in August typically and over winters as an adult going through to about April. The larvae feed on Hemlock.


                                                                      695 Agonopterix alstromeriana                       Photo : Danny Arnold  

7 March On the Highwood, Ken Willetts took this harbinger of Spring, the Clouded Drab moth. One of the more common moths at this time of year, but very variable in colour, from this grey form, to an almost chestnut red colour.


                                                                                           Clouded Drab                                    Photo: Ken Willetts

Over at Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman spotted this Peacock butterfly in the garden today. Almost certainly this insect has over wintered somewhere an emerged today in the warm sunshine. Caroline also spotted this curious little moth in the house today. It is a Twenty Plume moth and only a few millimeters across. This is one of a few moths that can appear pretty much at any time of year.


                                                                                  Twenty Plume Moth                                    Photo: Caroline Roseman



                                                                                Peacock Butterfly                                    Photo: Caroline Roseman

6 March At Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold trapped this Shoulder Stripe moth in his light trap over night. Some years this moth is hardly seen. This year it appears to be doing quite well, as there have been several records this year.


                                                                                           Shoulder Stripe                                    Photo: Danny Arnold

3 March Steve Whitehouse got in touch to say that there had been six Crossbill seen in some larches SW of Stanford Bridge on the B4203 today.

2 March David Norsworthy sent in this wonderful photo of seven over wintering Herald Moths and a lone Red Admiral. He was moving some boxes in a barn and thought at first they were dead leaves. Herald moths are often one of the last macros to be seen in the year and having over wintered are usually one of the first to be seen in the Spring.


                                                                                             Herald Moths                                Photo: David Norsworthy

On the Highwood, Ken Willetts had his light trap on last night a recorded rather appropriately this freshly emerged March Moth. Ken also took the two forms of the Satellite Moth, one with white markings the other with Orange. These two photographs show a good comparison.


                                                                                             March Moth                                                 Photo: Ken Willetts


                                                                               Two forms of the Satellite Moth                               Photo: Ken Willetts

On Oldwood Common, John Abbiss had five Bewick Swans flying over in an Easterly direction.

1 March Over at Stoke Bliss, Chris & Jenny Rogers have had a Bullfinch in the garden for the first time in many years they said. They have also had a pair of Muntjac wandering over the lawns.

Meantime in Tenbury, David Patrick took this shot of a Lesser Redpoll feeding on niger seeds with a Goldfinch. Not too many Lesser Redpoll have been reported this year, so a nice record.


                                                                                  Lesser Redpoll & Goldfinch                               Photo: David Patrick

28 February At Ashbed Woods, Geoff Wookey spotted a pair of Goosander. And at home, a male Siskin has joined the female he had a few days ago.

27 February On the High Wood, Ken Willetts took advantage of some sunshine today to take these images of wildlife in the garden.


                                                                                              Beetle                                                 Photo: Ken Willetts


                                                                                           Dunnock                                                 Photo: Ken Willetts


                                                                                                 Bullfinch                                             Photo: Ken Willetts


                                                                                                Robin                                             Photo: Ken Willetts

26 February A possible Pine Marten sighting near Stanford Bridge was reported today. The recorder was confident in her identification in the Bitch Berrow area.

25 February Whilst out walking the dog at Ashbed Woods today, Geoff Wookey sent up a Woodcock from the undergrowth.

The better weather prompted Ken Willetts to get out with his camera again today, resulting in these two close up photos of two of our less common garden visitors. The Long Tailed Tit and a female Siskin.


                                                                                   Long Tailed Tit                                       Photo: Ken Willetts


                                                                                   female Siskin                                       Photo: Ken Willetts

At Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman noticed at least two bee species feeding on the early nectar of the crocus's in the garden.



                                                                                 Bees feeding on crocus nectar                Photos: Caroline Roseman

24 February At Lower Rochford, Caroline Roseman took advantage of the better weather today and took these spring photos. Great to see the deer and the bottom of the field too!


                                                                                                   Deer                                         Photo: Caroline Roseman


                                                                                 Crocus, Daffodils & Snowdrops                Photo: Caroline Roseman


                                                                                 Blackthorn flowering                   Photo: Caroline Roseman

Over at Boraston, Geoff Wookey had a female Siskin on the garden feeders this morning and whilst out walking the dogs at Ashbed Woods, came across a pair of Kestrel. A great record considering they are a species in decline. Meantime, on the Highwood, another first record for the year for Ken Willetts This time the Common Quaker Moth. This species can very often be found around sallows and willows where they feed on nectar from early flowers.


                                                                                    Common Quaker                                       Photo: Ken Willetts

22 February  Ken Willetts light trap didn't produce any moths last night, but this drowsy wasp did turn up. Wasps can be attracted to light traps in large numbers some nights, so the traps are always opened with some caution!


                                                                                           Wasp Close-up                                     Photo: Ken Willetts

21 February  And a few more moths from Ken Willetts light trap. These two moths are very common species here in the Teme Valley, but the Clouded Drab is the first reported record of 2014 for this species in the area.


                                                                                      Hebrew Character                                      Photo: Ken Willetts


                                                                                          Clouded Drab                                Photo: Ken Willetts

20 February  Ken Willetts light trap has finally started to produce some moths. These are the first of two new species for the year, into his light trap this year. The Pale Brindled Beauty and Dotted Border moths. Both relatively common at this time of the year in the Teme Valley. They could easily turn up at a porch light left on over night.


                                                                                                Dotted Border                                Photo: Ken Willetts


                                                                               Pale Brindled Beauty                                          Photo: Ken Willetts

18 February  At Boraston, Geoff Wookey had 6 Lesser Redpoll on the garden feeders this morning and a Reed Bunting on the hedge on the walk up to Ashbed Woods. Geoff says there is about 17 acres of unharvested Oilseed Rape on the walk up to the woods and there are massive flocks of Linnet, Chaffinch and Greenfinch, also large numbers of Goldfinch. There are also a number of Bullfinch making use of the crop and a Sparrowhawk making regular forays.

17 February  On the Highwood, Ken Willetts took advantage of the better weather and took this stunning image of the blue skies around today. He also caught this Wood Pigeon unaware too.


                                                                                                Blue Skies                                          Photo: Ken Willetts


                                                                                              Wood pigeon                                      Photo: Ken Willetts

16 February  At Upper Rochford, the moth light traps have been running, but the evenings have been so cold, there have been no moths flying. The Last couple of night however, have been a few degrees warmer and the first Oak Beauty moth of the year turned up for Danny Arnold.


                                                                                          Oak Beauty                              Photo: Danny Arnold

12 February  At Boraston, Geoff Wookey had his first Brambling of the year. This is also the first one reported in the area this year.

11 February  Over at Oldwood Common, John Abbiss has been looking at what's about at this time of year. Firstly he noted that there was a well worn track through the bracken, which he reckons from the foot print in the mud is probably made by a badger.


                                                                                          Badger track                                            Photo: John Abbiss


                                                                                          Badger Print                                            Photo: John Abbiss

He also noted some early flowers including these orange seeds spewing from some pods on the ground and a host of Snowdrops.


                                                                                         Seed pods splitting                              Photo: John Abbiss


                                                                                         Snowdrops                                            Photo: John Abbiss

Some Bracket fungi was showing well on some dead wood and on one of the trees, he caught sight of this Treecreeper.


                                                                                         Treecreeper                                            Photo: John Abbiss


                                                                                         Bracket Fungi                                            Photo: John Abbiss


                                                                                         Bracket Fungi                                            Photo: John Abbiss

10 February  Out and about, Ken Willetts snapped this close up of a Pheasant, and down at Eastham Bridge, he took a couple of photo's from above the bridge, showing how very high the water level currently is on the River Teme.


                                                                                                 Pheasant                                          Photo: Ken Willetts


                                                          Eastham Bridge up stream of the bridge 1                       Photo: Ken Willetts


                                                          Eastham Bridge up stream of the bridge 2                        Photo: Ken Willetts

7 February  ....And another butterfly emergence in Janice's utility room. This time a Small Tortoiseshell made a quick exit through the door.

6 February  Over at Eastham, Janice Lucas dropped an email to say that she had seen her first butterfly of the year, which had emerged in her utility room. A Small White which obviously thought it was Spring!

3 February  Oohh....I think it might rain today. This photo taken at Upper Rochford as dawn was breaking this morning.


                                                                     Red sky in the morning....                                          Photo: Danny Arnold

1 February  At Boraston, Rachel Packard was delighted to see three Otters moving up the brook, all witnessed from her lounge window.

27 January  Another photo from up on the Highwood. Ken Willetts says that this is a bird he always has trouble photographing as they are so skittish, you just cant get close. This is a nice image of a Fieldfare in his orchard though.


                                                                                                 Fieldfare                                          Photo: Ken Willetts

24 January  Up on the Highwood, Ken Willetts is happy as he's had his first moth in the light trap for 2014. This Chestnut moth came in last night. A typical winter / early spring species. The larvae feed on a range of trees as a food plant including Birch and Oak. Hence why it is such a relatively common species in the Teme Valley.


                                                                                           The Chestnut                                  Photo: Ken Willetts

23 January  Up at Clifton on Teme, Simone Arnold noticed this jelly like mass growing on some wood in the garden. This is Yellow Brain Fungus, a fungi that can be found at most times of the year, though the fruiting body which this is, prefers late autumn. Clearly the mild weather has tricked it into thinking it still is autumn!


                                                                                         Yellow Brain Fungus                          Photo: Simone Arnold

Danny Arnold confirmed the presence of an Otter using a camera trap set up over night. It was only a tantalising glimpse as it set off the unit, but enough to confirm it wasn't mink. The Otter video footage can be seen by clicking this link. Today, Danny had two Goosander on one of the pools and a Kingfisher. Along with this quick photo taken of a Long Tailed Tit which was one of several working there way through the tree canopy over head. A Mistle Thrush was also busy sunning itself on top of a conifer.


                                                                                         Long Tailed Tit                                     Photo: Danny Arnold


                                                                                                 Mistle Thrush                                  Photo: Danny Arnold

Meanwhile, Ken Willetts made the most of the sunshine this morning and captured this very arty photo of some catkins. Has anybody else ever noticed that the catkins start out with a tiny pink flower?


                                                                                                  Catkins                                              Photo: Ken Willetts

22 January  Danny Arnold had a Goldcrest in the Scott's Pines this afternoon and down by the pool, was signs of an Otter's presence. Not that unusual, as when the river is in flood, they move up the dingles to cleaner water where they can feed. In the moth traps over night, Danny also trapped three of this tiny species, Yposolopha ustella. One of the few micro moths that venture out at this time of year. The larvae feed on Oak.


                                                                                     461 Ypsolopha ustella                              Photo: Danny Arnold

17 January  All this talk about Bullfinches last week prompted Vicki Stevens to email saying that she had her first pair of Bullfinch of the year in the garden today. Likewise, Ken Willetts also dropped a line in saying that he was getting three pairs of Bullfinch regularly in and around his feeders. Ken also sent in this fantastic close up picture of a Great Spotted Woodpecker he has coming to his feeders. What a fantastic image!


                                                                      Great Spotted Woodpecker                                       Photo: Ken Willetts

16 January  At Lower Rochford , Caroline Roseman reports a Tawny Owl on her drive way a few days ago and she sent in this image of newly emerging Snowdrops. Beautiful!


                                                                                           Snowdrops                                            Photo: Caroline Roseman

Whilst at Upper Rochford, Danny Arnold had this tiny micro moth come into the light trap last night. The larvae of this moth Acleris sparsana feed on Beech and Sycamore and as there are not particularly common species of tree in the Teme Valley, this moth is not often recorded. It is also one of only a very few moths that can be found flying at this time of year.


                                                                               1041 Acleris sparsana                           Photo: Danny Arnold

Also in the moth trap over night came this relatively large beetle, measuring 32mm. Unusual to get beetles in the moth trap at this time of year.


                                                                                           Beetle                                            Photo: Danny Arnold

15 January  John Abbiss followed up on his Pied Wagtail observation yesterday and noted that this dung fly (?) landed on his window. He wonders if the Pied WAgtails are after these, as there are very few other insects around at the moment.


                                                                                           Dung fly(?)                                            Photo: John Abbiss

14 January  On Oldwood Common, John Abbiss says there are a small flock of sheep which have been penned in to graze. This has prompted a flock of 15 or so Pied Wagtails to the area, which have been there a few days now, interested in what the sheep are churning up. Worth a visit.

13 January  Traveling down through Upper Rochford this morning, Danny Arnold had a small flock of around 50 Lesser Black-backed gulls in a field. Unusual to see them this far in land.

10 January  The temperature over night was cool, (a low of 3C) with a slight ground frost this morning and whilst Ken Willetts didn't record any moths in his moth trap over night, he sent in this stunning image of a Goldfinch he took yesterday. Just along the ridge from Ken, Danny Arnold managed just a single moth record over night, the first Chestnut moth of the year.


                                                                                            Goldfinch                                            Photo: Ken Willetts

9 January  On the Highwood, Ken Willetts had the first Siskin of the year in his garden today. And at Abberley, Diana Parkin had 9 Goldfinch, 2 Siskin, 5 chaffinch and 1 Lesser Redpoll in the garden today.

8 January  Following the post on the 6th January about the Bullfinches, Danny Arnold had three males in one tree on his patch today. Maybe there are three pairs about, not just two? And on the other side of the river at Frith Common, Mike Harley had two pairs in his garden today also. It would be great if they are making a come back!

7 January  There are not too many micro moths that fly at this time of year. This tiny moth measuring only a few millimeters in length will have over wintered from around September last year and would normally be seen flying as the temperature warms up in April and May. But last night was fairly mild (a low of 7C) which allowed this tiny Acleris literana to venture out and into the light traps of Danny Arnold. The larvae of this moth feed on Oak, which of course is plentiful in the Teme Valley.


                                                                                1061 Acleris literana                                       Photo: Danny Arnold

6 January  Danny Arnold had four Bullfinch on his patch at Upper Rochford today.

5 January  And over at Knighton on Teme, Richard Pill thought his bird feeder was in a bit of a dilapidated state, so he made a new one out of a piece of Scaffold Pole and some angle iron he had lying about. Pretty substantial Richard!. That should last a life time! Send us some photos of your home made feeders!!


                                                                           Home made Bird Feeder                                            Photo: Richard Pill

4 January First out of the blocks this year is Ken Willetts on the Highwood who sent in this photo of a Mistle Thrush perched in an apple tree in his orchard. This shot clearly shows the white edges to the tail feathers which is diagnostic for Mistle Thrush. The Song Thrush does not have these white edges.


                                                                                            Mistle Thrush                                            Photo: Ken Willetts

1st January 2014  A very Happy New Year to all our members, contributors and visitors.


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