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Local Weather

Tuesday 9th May

Tuesday 9th May 2017:
The weather was again warm and settled so I decided to undertake a walk from Lower Poolands car park to look for more Green Hairstreak butterflies.  It proved worthwhile as I found 2 more Green Hairstreaks at the Broom scrub in front of the electricity pylon on the east side of the former plantation.  This takes the total up to 11 over the past 2 days at 6 separate locations.  I will share a map of the sightings once their flight season is over.

Also in this area I was treated to the sight of 2 juvenile Long-tailed Tits being fed by their parents.

Juvenile Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus)

Green Hairstreak (Callophrys rubi)

It was a productive walk on the butterfly front as I also observed my first Small Heath and Small Copper of the year for the site. 3 Orange Tip and 2 Holly Blue were also noted.

Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas)

Moth-wise I recorded 2 ♂ Emperor patrolling, 2 Red Twin-spot Carpet and a single Mother Shipton.  The latter is called Mother Shipton as the pattern on the wing is said to look like the face of the 16th centaury hag of Yorkshire folklore, Old Mother Shipton.

Red Twin-spot Carpet (Xanthorhoe spadicearia)

Mother Shipton (Euclidia mi)

It was a good day on the bird front too as I observed my first Garden Warbler of the year flitting about and singing at the edge of the Oak wood near Poolands car park.  Another highlight was seeing/hearing 4 male Yellowhammers perched up singing at different locations across the Common.  This is really heartening as Yellowhammers are declining nationally and over the last 10 years and I personally have noticed a big drop in their numbers at traditional arable sites I visit.

Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella)

Sunday 7th and Monday 8th May

Sunday 7th May 2017:
This afternoon I spent some time checking around the Rush Pool and The Bog for dragonflies.  It seemed as though I was going to be out of luck until a teneral 4-spotted Chaser flew past and landed on some vegetation near the edge of The Bog.  Sadly it flew off over the Bog before I could get any record shots but I did see it long enough to confirm the id with my binos.  

Whilst walking around the Rush Pool I flushed a couple of Brown Silver-line moths from the surrounding bracken.  

A single Green Hairstreak was recorded on the other side of the Worcester Road on the stretch of common next to Cooks.  This is an area of the Common where few (if any) records of this species have been recorded.

Green Hairstreak (Callophrys rubi)

Brown Silver-line (Petrophora chlorosata)

Monday 8th May 2017:
Today's weather was hot and sunny so I undertook a walk around to look for Green Hairstreaks.  In total I recorded 9 Green Hairstreak in total at 5 separate locations (2 of which were on the Cooks Garden centre side of the Common). 

Green Hairstreak (Callophrys rubi)

From the Common I headed over to Hillditch Pool where I recorded my first Azure Damselfly of the year in the form of a single immature blue form female. 

Also of note at Hillditch were mating Cantharis rustica Soldier Beetles.

Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella) - ♀ Blue Form

Soldier Beetles (Cantharis rustica)

Monday 1st May to Thursday 4th May 2017

Monday 1st May 2017:
Undertook a walk around Hillditch Pool and the SE side of the Common today. On arrival at Hillditch I was greeted by the wonderful sound of a Cuckoo calling.  On speaking to some of the Common regulars it had been present since Saturday.    On the Common there were Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers, Blackcaps and Common Whitethroats singing seemingly everywhere. 

Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)

Black-headed Cardinal Beetle was a new invert for the year list and Gorse Shieldbug was also recorded.  A Common Lizard was seen scurrying off into the undergrowth.

Black-headed Cardinal Beetle (Pyrochroa coccinea)

During the walk I bumped into my friends Toni and Pete who were visiting the Common for the first time after reading about it on the blog.  They were both really pleased to see a pair of Green Woodpeckers and also a ♂ Emperor moth responding to the pheromone lure.

Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis)

Tuesday 2nd May 2017:
A brief visit to Hillditch today was fairly unproductive but for a 14-spot Ladybird and 2 Bloody-nosed Beetle larvae. 

14-spot Ladybird (Propylea 14-punctata)

Bloody-nosed Beetle (Timarcha tenebricosa) larva

Thursday 4th May 2017:
Today's warm sunny weather bought out increased numbers of Odonata with 4 Large Red Damselflies recorded at Hillditch Pool.  The following butterflies were also observed:  1 Holly Blue, 2 Orange Tip, 2 Peacock and  6 Small Tortoiseshell

Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula)

Peacock (Aglais io)