Wednesday 5th April 2017:
Today's weather was mild and overcast. I walked a circuit from Lower Poolands car park to the main car park and back around. There had been a noticeable increase in Willow Warblers overnight with 3 singing birds noted today. Also new in was a singing Blackcap. The only other notable bird record was of a single Meadow Pipit that flew over heading North. The only butterflies observed were a single Peacock and a Small Tortoiseshell. I also observed my first Ashy Mining Bee of the year during the walk.
Thursday 6th April 2017:
The weather was much better today for my visit to Hillditch Pool and the sunshine bought certainly bought out the butterflies. The highlight being a ♂ Brimstone that flew past, a first for me at this site in 2017. Also recorded were 3♂ Orange-tip, 4 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Comma and 1 Peacock. On the bird front a Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard drumming and a ♂ Blackcap was singing.
Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines)
Comma (Polygonia c-album)
Off-common at Hartlebury village I saw my first Holly Blue butterfly of the year fluttering about near St. James Church. Hopefully be able to pick one up at the Common or Hillditch during the next week.
Friday 7th April 2017:
I only had time for a short walk around the upper area of the Common from the main (Wilden Top) car park. It was fairly unproductive on the invert front with only a ♀ Orange-tip and a Harlequin Ladybird of note. That said I recorded my 1st Yellowhammer of the year for the reserve singing from one of the trees between the car park and the farmland on the NE of the Common.
Saturday 8th April 2017:
The weather was warm and sunny today and I decided to undertake a circuit from Lower Poolands. Within the broom scrub near the former plantation there were a good number of Common Heath moths on the wing. I also recorded a Zebra Spider on one of the tree stumps. These tiny jumping spiders are well named with their black and white striped bodies.
♀ Common Heath (Ematurga atomaria)
Zebra Spider (Salticus scenicus)
At a small number of locations around the Common I used a pheromone lure to attract ♂ Emperor Moths. This is basically a small rubber bung that is impregnated with chemicals that mimic the scent given off by a female Emperor. In each location I attracted 2♂ Emperor Moths to the lure. These stunning day-flying moths are a speciality species of heathland & moorland and are one of the Common's star species.
♂ Emperor Moth (Saturnia pavonia)
Also of interest during today's visit was seeing a pair of Kestrel together, hearing a Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming and observing a Dark-edged Bee-fly.