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Local Weather

Tuesday 15th August

Before I continue with this post I would just like to apologise for the lack of blog activity over the past couple of weeks.  I am still visiting the Common and have much still to blog about but I have been spending my spare time of late putting all my Hartlebury/Hillditch wildlife records for this year online via iRecord.  It's a great website and all the records entered there are verified by experts and forwarded to/can be accessed by various organisations such as Biological Record Centres, British Dragonfly Society and Butterfly Conservation to name but a few.

If you have any records from Hartlebury Common or elsewhere for that matter why not pop them on iRecord.  It's easy to register and get started.  If your interested check out the following link:

 https://www.brc.ac.uk/irecord/

Tuesday 15th August 2017:
I undertook a walk around the Lower Heath area of the Common today.  Although it was quite a warm sunny day there didn't seem to be a great numbers of butterflies on the wing today.  That said I did record 1 Brown Argus, 1 Common Blue, 1 Small Copper, 1 Small Heath and 1 Speckled Wood.  Also of note was a rather light colour/washed out Yellow Shell moth.

Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus)
















Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria)
















Yellow Shell (Camptogramma bilineata)
















As i walked around I observed that Parasol Mushrooms were starting to emerge in a number of locations and Devil's Bit Scabious just starting to come into bloom.  I recorded a single Hornet in flight over the heather and a ♂ Mottled Grasshopper was also noted.  Mottled Grasshoppers are a speciality of the Common and only occur in a small number of Worcestershire sites.  The males are fairly easy to identify as they have clubbed tips to their antennae.

Parasol Mushroom (Macrolepiota procera)





















The undoubted highlight of today's visit though was seeing two tiny juvenile Common Lizards scuurying about in front of one patch of heather, both of which only measured around an inch and half long (that's approx 38 mm for you metric types).  One actually worked it's way up through the heather and perched partially out in the sunshine.  Needless to say a photo opportunity ensued!

Common Lizard (Zootoca vivipara)
 

Sunday 13th August

Sunday 13th August 2017:
Today, the wife and I undertook a mid-afternoon walk around the lower terrace and terrace bank of the Common.  The weather for today's visit was cloudy with sunny spells.  What was most noticeable was the huge numbers of hirrundines that were present hawking insects with C.120 House Martin and 6 Swallows recorded.  Also of note were  3 Common Buzzards that were up soaring above the terrace bank.


Butterfly activity was minimal although I did observe a single Small Tortoiseshell and 2 Small Copper.

Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae)
















Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas)
















On the fungi front Parasol Mushroom was the only species of note.

Parasol Mushroom (Macrolepiota procera)
















House Martins en masse over the Common


At dusk I visited Hillditch Pool with my bat detector.  There were 6 bats present hawking about over the water.  They were Soprano Pipestrelles and were echo-locating at around 55kHz on my Magenta Bat 5 heterodyne detector.