Wednesday 7th June 2017:
I split this afternoon's visit into two separate walks. The first being on the lower terrace of the Common and the second around Hillditch. Again the warm mild weather continued.
On the Common I recorded 3♂ Broad-bodied Chasers on a now drying out Rush Pool. Also during my circuit I recorded 1 Large Skipper butterfly and 12 Cinnabar moths. It was also quite saddening to see that many of the spikes of Tower Mustard had been gnawed off at about 6 inches above ground level. This was most likely caused by some of the Common's rabbit population.
At Hillditch pool there was a good mix of dragonflies active with 3 Emperors (2♂,1♀), 1 Four-spotted Chaser and 2 Scarce Chasers (1♂,1♀) recorded. The ♂ Scarce Chaser was of particular interest as it showed visible 'mating scars' along it's abdomen. These are caused by the way a female claps the male with her legs during the mating process causing an area of the powdery blue pruinescence (mentioned last blog post) to be rubbed away.
♀ Scarce Chaser (Libellula fulva)
♂ Scarce Chaser (Libellula fulva) showing mating scars
Also of note at Hillditch today were 2 Large Skipper butterflies.
Saturday 10th June 2017:
The weather was warm and overcast for today's visit to the Common. I started at the main car park where I checked the half a dozen Mullein plants in that are to see if there were any larvae of The Mullein moth present. I was in luck and found two of these stunning caterpillars feeding on the leaves. The larva of this moth will also feed on buddleia leaves so it's always worth checking those if you have them in your garden.
The Mullein (Cucullia verbasci) larva
Also of interest in this area were a handful of Petticoat Mottlegill fungi. They get there common name from the fringe around the edge of its cap that is said to resemble the frilly hem of a petticoat.
Petticoat Mottlegill (Panaeolus papilionaceus)
From the main car park I headed over to the southeast side of the Common where a Spotted Flycatcher was calling and showing (occasionally) at the edge of the Oak woodland.
Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata) - photo from same site in 2016
On the SE side of the Common I recorded a single Grass Wave moth. This is a fairly localised moth species in Worcestershire that occurs in the Wyre Forest and the lowland heath areas between Kidderminster, Bewdley and Stourport such as Hartlebury Common.
Grass Wave (Perconia strigillaria)