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Sunday 11th to Thursday 15th June

Sunday 11th June 2017:
I started today's visit by having a mooch on the Cook's side of the Common.  The weather was overcast and windy leading to a noticeable drop in the amount of invert activity encountered.  The only Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) of note was a single Large Skipper and 2 Cinnabar moths.

However I was pleased to see a small number of Common Blue Damselflies on the wing, the first I'd noted this year.   A Volucella bombylans bumblebee mimic hoverfly and a Black-striped Longhorn Beetle were also noted.

Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum)

Volucella bombylans (bumblebee mimic hoverfly)

From the Common I headed over to Hillditch Pool. Things were pretty quite here on the wildlife front although it was pleasing to see a ♂ Scarce Chaser with quuite well defined mating scars.

♂ Scarce Chaser (Libellula fulva) with mating scars

Tuesday 13th June 2017:
Today I decided to do something slightly different and pay an late evening visit to the Common. I headed out at dusk armed with my torch to look for Glow-worms and my bat detector (just in case) I walked a circuit from the Lower Poolands carpark.  Sadly all I got for my troubles were a lot of midge bites or so it seemed until at 10:30pm I picked up on the sound of a juvenile Tawny Owl making 'begging calls' calling from the Oak wood. It continued to do so until 10:50pm.  I just wished I'd bought along my sound recorder!

Wedesday 14th June 2017:
I hadn't much time to visit the Common today as I'd already spent much of the afternoon in the Wyre Forest.  So to maximise my visit I just walked a circuit on the lower terrace taking in the Rush Pool and the nearby lawns.  At Rush Pool there were 2 Emperor Dragonflies present (a ♂ and an oviposting ♀).  A single ♂ Broad-bodied Chaser was the only other dragonfly of note.

There were many Ragwort plants growing in the lawned areas and a number of these were being fed on by the unmistakable yellow and black striped caterpillars of the Cinnabar moth.

Whilst undertaking the walk a Sparrowhawk went through and a Common Buzzard was up soaring.

Emperor Dragaonfly (Anax imperator) egg-laying

Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa)

Cinnabar (Tyria jacobaeae) larva

Thursday 15th June 2017:
Today's visit to Hillditch Pool was eventful to say the least.  At one point whilst walking at the pools edge I trod on what I thought was solid ground only to find that it was actually mud/water under the flattened vegetation and my feet sank about 12 inches.  My momentum took me forward and I fell hands first into the nettles (Ouch!).  Needless to say my hand smarted all night with 12-15 stings on my right hand it felt like I had permanent pins and needles.  That said thank heavens for small mercys...no one was there to capture the moment on camera and upload it to YouTube!  Note to self:  be mindfull of where you are treading whilst stalking dragonflies!

Anyway, enough of my waffle, on to the wildlife. There were 3 Scarce Chasers present at the pool today (1♀ and 2♂).  Only one of the male Chasers had visible mating scars.  3 Emperor (2♂, 1♀) were also  present as was a single Four-spotted Chaser.

Emperor Dragaonfly (Anax imperator)

Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata) - distant record shot

Whilst at the pool a Kingfisher flew through and an adult Moorhen was present with 3 young chicks.

In the meadow adjacent to the pool there were 3 Meadow Brown butterflies and 4 Ringlets present.  Their numbers will no doubt increase exponentially over coming days now they have started to emerge.

Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus)

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