Wyre Forest Study Group Field Notebook Blogs

Viburnum opulus Guelder

Viburnum opulus Guelder

The Viburnum opulus Guelder is a deciduous shrub that boasts beautiful clusters of flowers, vibrant berries, and striking foliage. It typically grows to a height of 10-15 feet, with a spread of 8-12 feet. The plant’s deep green, maple-like …

read more
Musk beetle – Aromia moschata

Musk beetle – Aromia moschata

This fabulous longhorn beetle was found along the riverside at Blackstone by Ellie Reast on our August field meeting. This localised beetle takes 3 years to complete its life cycle. Eggs are laid on the bark of live willows and the larvae burrow in, ….

read more
Drab Lopper – Minoa murinata

Drab Lopper – Minoa murinata

Despite its common name, there was a good deal of excitement among the members of the WFSG, when several specimens of this day-time flying moth were recorded during a recent visit to the Wyre. The Drab Lopper moth (Minoa murinata) is a small …

read more
A glint of gold …

A glint of gold …

On a recent July field meeting of the WFSG to the Wyre, we were treated to the sight of one of the UK’s spectacular dragonflies – the Golden-ringed dragonfly.

The Golden-ringed dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii) is a very large …

read more
Club-tailed Dragonfly emergence

Club-tailed Dragonfly emergence

The Club-tailed Dragonfly emergence period is almost over now after two weeks and already it looks like a better year than 2022.
The only way to assess how well this dragonfly is doing is to count the …

read more
Common Cardinal beetle (Pyrochroa serraticornis)

Common Cardinal beetle (Pyrochroa serraticornis)

This attractive beetle feeds on small insects and pollen. Eggs are laid under bark of dead trees in which the larvae feed for at least 2 years. These beetles can be found across Europe, inhabiting woodlands, forests, meadows, and gardens.

read more
Greater Fork-moss – Dicranum majus

Greater Fork-moss – Dicranum majus

Dicranum majus Greater Fork-moss found growing along Bell Brook valley, Wyre on Sunday 23 April 2023.

Dicranum majus plays a significant role in its ecosystem. As a moss, it helps retain moisture in the soil, preventing erosion …

read more
Orthotrichum pulchellum – Elegant Bristle-moss

Orthotrichum pulchellum – Elegant Bristle-moss

On a recent visit to Habberley Valley by the Wyre Forest Study Group, Ann Hill found Orthotrichum pulchellum – Elegant Bristle-moss growing on a hazel branch. Orthotrichum pulchellum, commonly known as Elegant Bristle-moss, is a species …

read more
A Loveliness of Ladybirds?

A Loveliness of Ladybirds?

The Harlequin ladybird (Harmonia axyridis) is a species of ladybird beetle that is native to Asia but has been introduced to many other regions of the world, including Europe, North America, and South America. It is a highly variable species in terms of colour …

read more
Nature, the playwright

Nature, the playwright

One of the many delights of being able to visit Wyre Forest each year is being able to witness the ebb and flow of the seasons, along with the changing faces of the cast and characters that nature provides for each seasonal ‘act’. …

read more
Scabious Sawfly – Abia sericea

Scabious Sawfly – Abia sericea

Scabious Sawfly (Abia sericea) is a distinctive looking cimbicid sawfly often found feeding on the nectar of flowering meadow plants such as Devil’s-bit Scabious. The equally distinctive larvae also feed on Devil’s-bit Scabious in …

read more
Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth

Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth

On a fresh late spring day, the Wyre Forest Study Group was fortunate enough to be given permission to visit a relatively undisturbed and privately owned part of the forest. As is usual, members of the group had initially met and …

read more
Rapturous Raptors

Rapturous Raptors

A single female Kestrel had been observed and recorded regularly over the past 12 months on the Wilden Marsh SSSI. She would often sit high on a powerline strung between pylons overlooking the marsh below.

read more
Pied Flycatchers in Wyre

Pied Flycatchers in Wyre

It is good to know that Pied Flycatchers returned to the Wyre Forest again this year to breed in the nest boxes provided. Mick Farmer managed to successfully photograph a male collecting insects for his young – but can anyone identify the catch?

read more
A return after an absense of 8000 years?

A return after an absense of 8000 years?

After many rumors and false starts, it was finally possible to observe and photograph the incredulous sight of a terrapin. Sightings of this individual had been reported, often with an air of disbelief, …

read more
Waterscorpion

Waterscorpion

It’s difficult not to be impressed with the formidable nature of the Waterscorpion – Nepa cinerea. An accomplished predator often found in shallow, still water.

read more
Toothwort

Toothwort

On Saturday 17th April 2021 six members of the WFSG went on the postponed winter bird walk, but we don’t only look for birds! After our lunch stop near Arley we spotted Toothwort (Lathraea squamaria) growing …

read more
Common Whitlowgrass  – Erophila verna

Common Whitlowgrass – Erophila verna

I recently came across a large carpet of these tiny spring flowers growing on a dry bare trackway. These plants, only a few centimetres tall, flower and fruit by April, and are not easy to find later in the year.

read more
SPRING IS COMING!

SPRING IS COMING!

Spring is coming soon we trust, although winter is hanging on with more snow falling this week. But Great Tits are singing, Song Thrush males are proclaiming their territories and Winter Aconites and Snowdrops …

read more
Holding On

Holding On

I passed this Hazel tree growing near Dowles Brook recently and was reminded about the many difficulties we’ve experienced in 2020 when the ground seems to have been taken from under our feet and there has …

read more
Toad on a Stool

Toad on a Stool

On a walk in Wyre recently I spotted a nibbled Funnel Cap toadstool, so stopped to search underneath for the elusive Lemon Slug. Under the leaves I found this tiny young toad so carefully popped it on top of the …

read more
Meadow Cranesbill

Meadow Cranesbill

It is good to see that there are still a few plants in flower in October like this Meadow Cranesbill found down by the River Severn near Blackstone on a sunny autumn day.

read more
Rove Beetle – Staphylinus olens

Rove Beetle – Staphylinus olens

The ferocious looking Rove Beetle (Staphylinus olens), commonly known as the Devil’s Coach Horse, isn’t slow in showing that it means business! When caught out in the open it will …

read more
Waxcaps

Waxcaps

It’s autumn and grassland fungi are beginning to appear! Pink Waxcaps are an indicator species for what could be a special site for fungi, and if this is found it is worth returning to see what else comes up …

read more
Cygnets hitching a lift.

Cygnets hitching a lift.

Whilst walking along the riverside near Bewdley Rosemary Winnall spotted a female Mute Swan swimming upstream with her 3 small cygnets swimming alongside. As she watched, the cygnets climbed up …

read more
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