The warm spell continued and today's visit to the Lower Heath area of the Common was a productive one on the invert front. A single Comma was noted there and I also observed my first Orange Underwing moth of the year flitting about around the top of a stand of Silver Birch.
Comma (Polygonia c-album)
As well as the aforementioned Lepidoptera I also recorded 3 species of ladybird: Pine Ladybird, 7-spot Ladybird and 24-spot ladybird. The latter being my first sighting of this species for the year.
24-spot Ladybird (Subcoccinella 24-punctata)
Friday 1st March:
The unseasonably warm spell had come to an end and cold strong winds were now very much in effect as with it many of the inverts seen over the previous week had gone back into cover. So, I decided to spend some time visiting the water bodies starting with The Bog and Rush Pool.
Sadly The Bog remained dried out and there was very little of note there. Rush Pool on the other hand was far more encouraging. It was great to see that, since Worcestershire County Council and Hartlebury Common Local Group volunteers had cleared the trees/shrubs growing within Rush Pool, not only has the water level increased considerably but also Frogs had returned and spawned there successfully. Also of note near to Rush Pool was some nice clusters of Scarlet Elf Cap fungi. A ♂ and ♀ Mallard were also present on the pool.
Common Frog (Rana temporaria) spawn at Rush Pool
Scarlet Elf Cap (Sarcoscypha coccinea)
From Rush Pool I headed over to Hillditch Pool. On arrival a Great Spotted Woodpecker was drumming from the coppice. A Grey Wagtail flew over the pool and headed towards Titton Brook and 2 Ravens flew over 'kronking' heading West. Also of interest was an empty Duck Mussel shell that I found at the edge of the rear pool there.
Duck Mussel (Anodonta anatina) shell
Saturday 9th March:
It was very quite visit to the lower terrace of the Common today and the strong cold winds meant that most things, birds included were sat up taking shelter. I did, during an all too brief sunny spell, see a rather nice male House Sparrow perch out and start singing from the Gorse next to the Bog Car Park.
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) ♂
Sunday 10th March:
The weather was slightly better today with blues skies and occasional sunny spells but the strong cold wind remained. Starting with a walk on the Lower Terrace I was pleased to see that the seasonal pond had a reasonable amount of water within it.
The Seasonal Pond - Lower Terrace
From the Lower Terrace I headed over to Hillditch Pool. There were two Mistle Thrushes present in the paddock adjacent to the pool and a Sparrowhawk flew through the coppice. On the pool itself the leaves of Yellow Water-lily were just beginning to break the surface.
Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus)