Wyre Forest Study Group Field Notebook Blogs

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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.

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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…

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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 ….

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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 …

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A wet day in Wyre

Wyre Forest Study Group members braved the cold rain and ventured out into Earnwood Copse, following an ancient sunken track down through the …

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Spurge Laurel (Daphne laureola )

This small fragile evergreen shrub (not often higher than 40cms) grows wild in just a few of our hedgerows and woods around Wyre where the soil it isn’t too acidic …

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Birds in the snow

In cold weather food is short for many birds, and they can become easier to watch and photograph when they come down to food we provide …

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Elfcup (Sarcoscypha sp.)

Elfcups are spring cup fungi that brighten our late winter woodland floor with their attractive fruiting bodies. They grow, often in troops, on rotten fallen twigs of …

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Snowflakes

A late night walk in the snowy garden with a magnifying glass enabled me to see some detail in the snow flakes – what lovely patterns there are!

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Signs of Spring!

On a Wyre Forest Study Group walk along Dowles this week there were many signs of spring in spite of the cold temperatures. Wild Arum (Arum maculatum) and …

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Redwing

Redwings visit Britain each winter from as far away as Russia, Scandinavia and Iceland. They feed on berries, fruits and worms and often visit gardens, especially ….

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Hawfinch

It has been good to see Hawfinches in the Wyre Forest area. Here are 2 photos caught on a remote camera drinking from a small stream.

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Grey Shoulder Knot moth

Whilst out in the Forest yesterday Dave Scott spotted this Grey Shoulder Knot on the bridge near Lodgehill. Roger Plant’s excellent photograph of the moth sitting on …

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Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria)

Autumn is here. Trees are colouring and their leaves beginning to fall, the Fallow deer rut has begun in the Forest, and toadstools are appearing in good numbers.

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Spangle galls and Cherry galls

Autumn is a good time to look for plant galls in Wyre. The ball-shaped Cherry Galls are induced by the gall wasp Cynips quercusfolii and those of the Common …

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Nephrotoma flavipalpus

This attractive cranefly is easily identified from the other Nephrotoma species because of its distinctive abdominal markings. It is known to like dry woodlands on sandy soil and this one was found on a path in Longdon Wood.

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Branched Bur-reed

This strange-looking plant, which can grow up to the height of 1.5 metres, may be found in still or slow-moving water. We find it in a few of our Wyre Forest …

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Black Swan in Bewdley

For 2 weeks in July this Black Swan was present on the Severn in Bewdley town near the bridge. It fed with the other swans but was quite aggressive, …

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Pyrausta moths

2 Pyrausta daytime-flying pyralid moths can be seen in Wyre during the summer. Pyrausta aurata, the commoner of the 2, can be found in gardens too …

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