Monday, 23 July 2012

Up a Hill, by a River, in the Woods and by Pools.

15/07/12....Titterstone, Clee Hill, Shropshire.
An early afternoon visit to Titterstone, Clee Hill did not yield many bird species due in no small part to the cold wind that was blowing! A juvenile Wheatear, juvenile Linnet, Swallows, Meadow Pipits , Pied Wagtail and 3 Kestrels which apart from Corvids were the only birds seen here. The occasional sunny spell did not take the chill off the wind but the views were spectacular!
Wheatear (juvenile)

15/07/12....River Severn, Arley, Worcestershire.
The River Severn at Arley was much better weatherwise after a hasty retreat from Clee Hill but not bird wise! The river was running fast after the rainy weather and the Mallards took sanctuary on one of the slipways to the river which just about had a couple of feet of standing room for the birds as the river was high after the rains. Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Blackbird, House Martin and Swallow were the highlight birds seen. Six-Spot Burnet Moths, Crickets, Ringlet and Small Skipper were a delight to see in one of the meadows. It was a peaceful and tranquil walk albeit for the hooting of the Severn Valley Railway trains. House Sparrows were in abundance and catching insects by the Cafe seating area, lovely birds to see as for me they are not a bird I see often enough nowadays!

Six-spot Burnet Moth
Common Green Grasshopper (Thanks Jason)
This tree trunk in the fast flowing river was small in comparism to a tree trunk that earlier had floated by, it was huge!

20/07/12....Bunkers Hill Wood.
The first sighting in the wood was a Southern Hawker Dragonfly flying around at high speed catching insects along the path, needless to say it was too busy to pose for a pic! Chiiffchaff, Blackbird and Robin were the only birds seen in the wood with Great Spotted Woodpecker heard only! Along the bridlepath to the smaller wood were Yellowhammer, Wren, Whitethroat, Goldfinch, Greenfinch and Chaffinch and Jay. Caterpillars were the treat of the day as I spotted several of the species mentioned with a beak full of them, especially so the Whitethroats and Yellowhammers. Martins and Swallows circled gracefully overhead catching insects, surprisingly I did not see or hear a Skylark. In the small wood I had great views of a Treecreeper as it spiralled it's way around and up a tree trunk.


21/07/12....Wassell Grove Fisheries.
I had a good few sightings within the first few minutes of my walk, they being Linnet, Blackcap (male), Great Tit (juvenile), Blue Tit, Goldfinch, Dunnock and Grey Heron and Common Buzzard in flight. Swallows and Swifts were good to see overhead, best to make the most of the Swifts as they will soon be on their way South. Whitethroat and Chiffchaff were heard only. The vegetation had grown very tall since my last visit, I was glad I had opted to put my wellies on as my boots would have been shall we say a little wet! I was well pleased to have spotted not one but two Southern Hawkers as they rested in the sunshine to warm up! I later saw a few Blue-tailed Damselflies, several Ringlet butterflies but not one Speckled Wood which is most unusual for here.

Blue-tailed Damselfly (female)
Blue-tailed Damselfly (male)
Southern Hawker (male)

22/07/12....Sling Pool.
An early morning visit to Sling Pool was made in the hope of seeing a few Dragon/Damselflies, none to be seen even though the sun was shining and giving warmth to the air! A Comma Butterfly settled on a path, looking a bit jaded and a couple of Ringlets flitted around and occasionally settling on the vegetation. Two nests of Peacock Caterpillars stood out like a sore thumb in the nettles. I wondered why they hadn't been picked off by the birds, maybe they do not taste as good as green caterpillars. There were plenty of Bees and Flies on and around the wildflowers and I reckon I saw a fleeting glimpse of a Scorpion Fly! The only bird seen was a lone Blackbird, there never seem's to be much bird life in this area. A walk along the paths will be in order on the next visit which should yield a few bird species.

Peacock Caterpillar nest.
Umbelifier and Flies


  1. What a prodctive few walks you have done Pam. I love Clee Hill and totally agree the views on a nice clear day are something else!

    P.s the photo entitled "Crickets" is actually of 2 Grasshoppers. they have shorter antenae and hind legs than crickets. Hard to id them from that angle but I would probably say Common Green endeth the lesson ;-)

  2. Nice to catch up with your latest walks Pam.Those views look wonderful,I bet it's quite a climb!
    Lets hope we'll soon be seeing plenty of butterflies,this warmer weather has to be good for something eh! you know it doesn't agree with me!!
    Super pics as always,I like your Treecreeper and Yellowhammer very much!

  3. What a lovely and interesting round-up of your recent adventures Pam! You saw lots of interest and took some lovely photos. Some nice scenic photos too! I have only seen one Six-spot Burnet this year so it was good to see your 'cluster' of them. Lovely to see the juvenile Wheatear too! The nest of caterpillars is looking good for a nice emergence of Peacocks in the next week or two which is good news :-) I still haven't seen a Comma so far this year!

    I really do like your header photo. as you say it is so good to see House Sparrows these days. They seem to be making a bit of a return to my garden which is lovely, nowhere near the numbers they used to be though.

  4. Thank you Jason, Ruth and Jan for your kind comments.

    Firstly, please accept my apologies for the late posting of your comments, the loss of Internet connection was to blame! I lost the connection late Tuesday afternoon (24th) and it has taken until lunchtime today for the exchange to re-connect! It must have been a major job for it to have taken this long..or apathy on their part! However the Olympic Games have been my savour and kept me well!

    Hi Jason, Many thanks for the 'correct' ID of the Grasshoppers! I hold my hands up and admit I didn't check the ID as per usual, laziness on my part!

    Hi Ruth, Clee hill would I imagine be quite a climb...I go up there on 4 wheeels ;-) Well I may miss something good if I had to climb to the top where the interesting wildlife species normally! I hope you enjoyed the weather this last week, it was good to feel the warmth of the sun!

    Hi Jan, I hope during the recent hot spell you managed to see a few more butterfly species. I saw my first Gatekeeper of the summer on Saturday and plenty of Skippers!

    I have only had one visit (that I have spotted) of a pair of House Sparrows in my garden this year, that is why seeing this species is a bit special to me. Great to here that they are returning to your garden albeit in small numbers!