Wyre Forest Study Group Field Notebook Blogs

Pearls of delight

Pearls of delight

This year the flight periods of Pearl-bordered Fritillary butterflies and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries have overlapped and they have been flying together in the hot sunshine. This has given us the chance to look ….

read more
Displaying Goldcrest

Displaying Goldcrest

The very loud urgent singing above my head attracted my attention to this determined little male Goldcrest that was trying hard to impress a female that was intend on feeding near by. She didn’t seem to take much notice.

read more
Cranefly – Tanyptera atrata

Cranefly – Tanyptera atrata

Susan Limbrey was surprised to see this impressive cranefly in her greenhouse at The Newalls in Far Forest. It is a male Tanyptera atrata and the Wyre Forest is a hotspot for this attractive fly.

read more
Emperor Moth – Saturnia pavania

Emperor Moth – Saturnia pavania

Mary Singleton was delighted to see 2 male Emperor Moths coming to her pheromone lure which she’d hung from her washing line in her Bewdley garden. She recorded them on 20th April 2020 at 3.50pm….

read more
Sparrowhawk alert!

Sparrowhawk alert!

Mick Farmer from Bewdley saw this male Sparrowhawk in his garden on 17th April 2020. Mick was very pleased to see it at such close quarters, but the small birds in his garden were not so enthusiastic!

read more
Large Red Damselfly – Pyrrhosoma nymphula

Large Red Damselfly – Pyrrhosoma nymphula

On 15th April 2020 Rosemary spotted her first damselfly of the year by her garden pond at Bliss Gate. She writes “I thought it was a bit early, so sent my Large Red Damselfly photo to Mike Averill, the county recorder …”

read more
A hatch of the carpet beetle Megatoma undata

A hatch of the carpet beetle Megatoma undata

This hot spring weather has hastened the emergence of many insects. The Red Mason Bee (Osmia bicornis) males are out and flying around their tubes in my garden at Bliss Gate, waiting for the females to emerge.

read more
An Easter Egg hunt with a difference!

An Easter Egg hunt with a difference!

Susan Limbrey writes “The Great Easter Egg Hunt (grass snake version) is under way.  It’s slow because the compost is very claggy, and the slow worms who regard the heap as home keep getting in the way.”

read more
Swan Goose in Bewdley

Swan Goose in Bewdley

The Swan Goose has arrived in Bewdley town, says Pauline Lowe who took these photos from near her house by the riverside on 29th March 2020. It is a Swan Goose which, in the wild, normally inhabits Mongolia in ….

read more
Ladybird – Nephus quadrimaculatus

Ladybird – Nephus quadrimaculatus

Liam Crowley spotted 2 of these tiny ladybirds Nephus quadrimaculatus on the ivy in his back garden on 22nd March 2020. As these beetles measure only 1.5 – 2mm he did well to photograph it. These beetles must be easily ….

read more
Misty Day in Withybed Wood

Misty Day in Withybed Wood

The December day was still and calm. In the woodland the mist was forming, clearing and reforming throughout the day. When the sun broke through for a short time, the forest was filled with colour and sparkle, until …

read more
Nettle Ensign Scales Orthezia urticae

Nettle Ensign Scales Orthezia urticae

In early October, Andrew Curran found these tiny creatures called Nettle Ensign Scales Orthezia urticae, a type of scale insect in the Superfamily Coccoidea. They are related to aphids and mealy bugs and …

read more
Nigma walckenaeri

Nigma walckenaeri

This small green spider may be found in sheltered spots on Ivy, Holly and other garden shrubs. The females are all green and the males have green abdomens and a reddish carapace.

read more
Miniature pillars and capstones

Miniature pillars and capstones

Where large stones exist in an easily erodible sediment it is possible for pillars of sediment to form with a capstone sitting on the top. Following a particularly wet autumn in 2019 rain had eroded sand to …

read more
Clifden Nonpareil – back from the brink?

Clifden Nonpareil – back from the brink?

Sometimes referred to as the Blue Underwing, the Clifden Nonpareil is a very large and impressively beautiful, rare moth. This indiviual was photographed by Jon Cartwright when it obligingly turned up …

read more
Nightjar sighting

Nightjar sighting

Jon Cartwright was able to photograph an elusive Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus) in Fastings Coppice. As a summer visitor to the UK, Nightjars arrive to breed in mid-May and have normally left for their …

read more
A butterfly without borders

A butterfly without borders

On a sunny August day members of the Wyre Forest Study Group gathered to visit and survey several wildflower meadows in the forest. On this occasion the group were also joined by several members of the …

read more
Redstart – a welcome summer visitor

Redstart – a welcome summer visitor

These delightful birds are regular summer visitors to the Wyre Forest, although sadly their numbers have fallen in recent decades. The droughts of the 1960s and 1970s resulted in a dramatic fall in their …

read more
Pearls in the forest

Pearls in the forest

The Forest is home to many species of insects, some inconspicous and difficult to find and others vivid and easily sighted. An example of the latter are the Pearl-bordered Fritillary and the Small Pearl-bordered …

read more
Clubtail Dragonfly

Clubtail Dragonfly

The Clubtail Dragonfly (Gomphus vulgatissimus) is near threatened nationally, but we are lucky to live near its stronghold the River Severn. The dragonfly is unusual in that it doesn’t stay around …

read more
A tangle of legs!

A tangle of legs!

One of the many joys of walking in the forest is the sometimes unpredictable events of nature that can often be overlooked by the more casual eye. With the land owners permission the WFSG …

read more
Gorse Shieldbugs – Piezodorus lituratus

Gorse Shieldbugs – Piezodorus lituratus

Gorse Shieldbugs (Piezodorus lituratus) overwinter as adults and emerge on sunny spring days when they may be found basking on gorse, often well camouflaged amongst the spines and old seeds.

read more
Galls in Bracket Fungus

Galls in Bracket Fungus

The Artist’s Bracket Ganoderma applanatum is not uncommon on trees in the Wyre Forest, but these fascinating galls on the underside that John Bingham showed us are rarely found.

read more
New Woodlouse for Wyre!

New Woodlouse for Wyre!

Whilst most of us were watching toads spawning on our field meeting on 23rd March 2019 Gary Farmer was digging and delving amongst the leaf litter where he found something very special.

read more
Laceweb Spider

Laceweb Spider

Andrew Curran spotted this large Laceweb Spider under a stone in Town Coppice. It is likely to be Coelotes atropus. The female builds a tunnel-shaped web in which she lays her eggs.

read more
Toads Breeding

Toads Breeding

As the frogs finish spawning, the toads move into their breeding ponds to lay their spawn. The adults, often in amplexus (the male hitching a ride on top of the female so that he is ready to fertilise the eggs when …

read more
Juvenile Kestrel

Juvenile Kestrel

This juvenile Kestrel was spotted by Mick Farmer sitting on a wire near Wharton’s Park, Bewdley. It is seen regularly near here and the wire makes a great vantage point …

read more
Buzzard in ash tree

Buzzard in ash tree

Buzzards are regular visitors to this ash tree from where they can survey much of their territory. They are often seen flying before dawn – presumably hunting for …

read more
Spiders’ Web

Spiders’ Web

We woke up to freezing fog this morning and everything was covered in rime. It was very pretty, and many spiders webs were conspicuous amongst the vegetation. But …

read more
Deer prints

Deer prints

In muddy parts of the Forest it is possible to discover which animals have walked that way by identifying their tracks. Here there is the print from a Fallow Deer, a small Reeves …

read more
Rosy Bonnet (Mycena rosea)

Rosy Bonnet (Mycena rosea)

This attractive fungus is found in leaf litter in woodlands and hedgerows. It may be found to be a variety of Lilac Bonnet Mycena pura. It smells of radish and should not be …

read more
Ergot in Purple Moor Grass

Ergot in Purple Moor Grass

Ergot is a fungus that invades grasses. It used to be a serious infection of cereals, producing alkaloids which, when consumed by humans and other mammals, produced …

read more
Autumn Woodland

Autumn Woodland

The areas of beech woodland in Wyre are ablaze with colour in the autumn sunshine. This is also a good time to spot all the beech seedlings coming up on the forest floor.

read more
The perfect guest?

The perfect guest?

With just a hint of the autumn colors to come, members of the study group met to survey an area of the forest that has very few biological records to date.With no real species …

read more
Snuffmill Pools

Snuffmill Pools

Taking full advantage of the warm September weather, the study group was given permission to visit the Snuffmill Pools, located just a short way out of the …

read more
Life under a log

Life under a log

During the regular midweek field meeting in Sept, the study group visited the little-known area of Snuffmill ponds, just to the south of Bewdley.The Snuffmill …

read more
Dark Green Fritillaries

Dark Green Fritillaries

Craig Reed photographed these lovely Dark Green Fritillary butterflies in Wyre recently. This species was first recorded in the Forest a few years ago and they are now breeding …

read more
Caddisfly first for Wyre Forest

Caddisfly first for Wyre Forest

This caddisfly larvae Trichostegia minor is the first record for this species in Wyre and was found in the new Helen Mackaness Reserve. It is usually found …

read more
Great Prominent (Peridea anceps)

Great Prominent (Peridea anceps)

This moth, so well camouflaged on the oak trunk, has recently emerged, having spent the winter as a pupa underground. The caterpillars feed on oak leaves…

read more
Glowworm larva!

Glowworm larva!

It was great to see a Glowworm larva walking across the track in Wyre recently. Larvae are usually nocturnal, but in their third year, between April and June ….

read more
Toadspawn

Toadspawn

The toads have been busy laying their spawn in various places in and around Wyre. Their strings of eggs are wound round water plants and each string …

read more