Saturday, 29 June 2013

Garden moths

Best in the trap this morning was this alder kitten, on the birding front just singles of redshank and little ringed plover[5] passing through rhaslas in the last week.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Shock of my life

I went to Abercwmboi Lake looking for Dragonflies this morning and all I could find was one Blue Tailed damselfly. There was one pair  of Moorhen and one pair of Coot of each with young and also one pair of Greylag Geese and one pair farm yard geese with two young and than I nearly stood on this .I nearly jumped out of my skin.It was about four foot long and I think female , what a cracker . Phil you would have loved it.

Local Walk

Was going " Stir Crazy " working from home and staring at the same 4 walls so I decided some fresh air was needed and went for a walk down the valley then up to the " Giant's Tooth " and across the mountains back to Mountain Ash.
Not a lot seen in the valley itself Great Tits feeding young out of the nest, Blackcaps everywhere and the other usual suspects.
The climb up saw lots of Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers and more Blackcaps until I got to the small pine plantation just above " Giant's Tooth " where there were a family party of Great Spotted Woodpecker.
I then turned north back towards Mountain Ash through the meadow type landscape which produced the usual Skylarks and Meadow Pipits.  Also lots of Small Heaths and a Fritillary flew through but too quickly to get anything on it. At the top of this section was a cracking male Stonechat with some young in attendance, Tree Pipit with food in it's mouth but surprisingly for this area I couldn't find any Wheatear.
I then dropped down slightly and walked across the top of the farm towards the forestry where I picked up a year tick in Garden Warbler, I have to get out more lol.
Lots of Chaffinch in the forestry and surprisingly lots of Blackbirds on the forestry floor where to me there didn't seem any life or growth.
Back out into the open above Newtown I decided to drop down by the side of the farm and come out by the edge of Newtown Quarry. This proved quite difficult as everywhere was overgrown, luckily I can remember where most of the paths are from playing here as a child ( why can't I remember what I did yesterday ).  An heart attack nearly occured when I nearly stepped on something which I think was a Weasel or Stoat, I don't know who moved the quickest. Whatever it was it went into hiding I could not re-locate it.
Just above Newtown I then did a good impression of Mr Bevan in Portland and went a**e over tip and then 5 yards further on just to prove it wasn't a fluke I did it again this time on some wire netting stopping rock falls, ouch.

Since I know next to nothing about Caterpillars, that's wrong I actually know nothing about them can someone please tell me what species is in the photo

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Tree Bees and Fritillaries

I didn't know being ill could be so good! after spending yesterday afternoon and evening and early morning today coughing, sneezing and with a nose that resembled Niagara Falls, I decided to take the day off. With the weather being so nice I decided to try an early season Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey, if only to get me outdoors and get over this Cold.

On the walk out I finally caught up with Tree Bumblebee, with one, possibly two, seen near the start of Edwardsville Woods. and now I have my eye in on the species, I found around half a dozen more at two other sites.

On the walk out, butterflies had been quite conspicuous by there absence with only a couple of Large Skippers (new for the year), Speckled Woods, and single Green-veined and Large Whites being seen.

The Survey transect started off just as quiet with only a couple of Silver Y's being recorded. Just before finishing the first section of the transect, a large butterfly took off from the path in front of me and flew strongly off. The quick look at suggested a large fritilary, but as I'd never recorded any frot's in that area I just presumed it would have been a Comma!
Into the next section and a couple of Small Heaths put in brief appearances before another large orange butterfly took off from the path in front of me. This time it landed further along the path and I was able to approach and get my bin's onto it. It was no Comma but rather a large fritillary, probably Dark Green - Wow, I wasn't expecting that, and it convinced me that the earlier butterfly was almost certainly of this species.
If that wasn't enough, a third flew right past me just as I finished the third section, with two more flying past during the 4th section - 5 Dark Green Fritillaries!
The second half of the transect proved to be butterfly less - not even a White or Speckled Wood - but did produce a Golden-ringed Dragonfly, 3 Common Blue Damselfly's and a dozen or so Large Red Damselfly's.
Other notable sightings included my first Green Carpet of the year, Violet Ground Beetle, several Green Tiger Beetles and a Cuckoo calling from the Letty Turner area around midday.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Monday morning moths & moorhens

Pityful catches in the back yard but Eyed Hawkmoth and a faded Blood Vein this morning. Then to the cynon valley to have car serviced. It took 2.5 hours so wandered to whats left of Tir Founder, I'd forgot how handsome Moorhens were.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

rain, rain, and more rain.....

A damp WeBs this am at Parc Taf Bargoed produced a record number of Mallard (52), helped with three broods of 5, 9 and 10 ducklings. The brood of 10 were at least 3/4's grown so look like they will make it to full adulthood. Moorhen with 2 half grown chicks in the reed beds, with another adult elsewhere in the reed beds (2pr?). 4 Reed Warbs heard at three area's within the reed beds so looks like 3prs are breeding (a site record) and 2, poss 3 male Reed Bunts on territory.

A wander round CCF produced to family parties of Great Spott peckers, with drumming hear at two localities, looks like 3 pair of Green peckers also bred. Plenty of Blackbird, Song Thrush, Blue and Great Tit families, but looks like only 1 pr of Redstart have bred this year. No Spot Fly's or Wood Warbs seen/heard. 1 Tawny Owl seen well in its daytime roost.

lime hawkmoth


Saturday, 22 June 2013

Garden trap this morning

Lime Hawkmoth this morning, only my 3rd for Merthyr and Silver Y[2] were my best from another poor night in the garden. Called in at Rhaslas, but just the usual suspects and no passage birds.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Tree bumble Bee

I was attacked for the second time in two weeks. Out in the field they are great ,but near the nest they are a bloody nightmare. I was about six feet from the box and one flew straight in my face and chased me around the garden.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Any idea

I took this shot up Cwm cadlan Nature reserve last week.

Brown wood owl

Do you think Mat would tick this little gem.I think there a good chance.

Lunar hornet moth

Old shot from two years ago in Roberts town.What a cracker i would love to see more.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013


Hi all, up to my neck in bat surveys and report writing at the moment but Jake has been in touch and needs info on Nightjars. I checked Cilsanws a few nights ago and drew a blank but I know Mark Evans got lucky on Mynydd Gethin (with nightjars!) where we had them last year. Essentially Jake needs the site name, grid ref, number, sex etc.

site going to sleep

Is it me or is there a lack conversation at the moment.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Broad bodied chaser

Bryn du .This afternoon 7 Broad bodied chaser and 5 small blues and a couple dingy skippers.

Has Mr Fox been busy.....

A look round the Dowlais "island" this afternoon to check on the Lapwings, only returned 3 adults - they were defending the area from and Crow or gull that came too low, but no young were found. A dog Fox, however, was flushed.

Had a male Cuckoo calling from above the graveyard next to the Fidlers Elbow roundabout yesterday evening - the closest I've had one to the house

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Wake up swift

Very quiet at Rhaslas this morning then this swift with a handlebar moustache buzzed me.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Isle of Mull

I resisted the temptation of a weekend in Norfolk without accomodation with the boys ( sorry about mentioning that ) to spend a holiday in Scotland finishing with 3 nights on Mull.
What can I say the birding was great, the scenery spectacular also the food and digs were out of this world.
The ferry across was quiet bird wise although I did get Black Guillemot, driving from the ferry to Fionnphort we managed to see 2 Golden Eagles perched and flying around a nest site,  Hooded Crows were everywhere.
The following morning I walked down the road about 200 yards and caught the ferry over to Iona where I managed to see 3 Corncrakes ( Lifer No 1 ) two of which were feeding on someones lawn!
I heard at least 8 more calling.
Later that day I went to a place called Grasspoint were I saw a soaring White Tailed Eagle ( Lifer No 2 ). Can I count Rock Dove as a lifer? The locals seem to think they are pure, I'm just not sure.
Next day I tried a place called Pennyghael which is good for otters and divers. I managed to locate a breeding plumage Great Northern Diver, absolutely gorgeous bird. No otters unfortunately but I did find a singing breeding plumaged Brambling ( this made the Isle of Mull sightings page ).

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Green Hairstreak

I had four last weekend up by Bavistocks on the Merthyr side.

marsh fritillary

Two in Hirwaun today and my first mother shipton moth of year.

tree bumblebee

The bee are using a tit box in my garden.

whoooh gives two hoots!

The monthly wander round CCF produced less birds than of late - probably due to the greater leaf cover. Only one singing Wood Warbler - have the other three moved on or are they mated up and singing less? only 3 Spot flys seen - disappointing for a site that usually has some 9+ pairs - perhaps the remained are on their way - given the 1000+ that went through Portland Bill yesterday, it looks like a lot will be late onto territory.

One glaring omission from my species list for this site has been Tawny Owl. Finding a recently moulted primary gave me hope that at least one could be found. In the end I flushed a pair while looking for Slow worms and Adders (found neither). I did, however come across a Longhorn Beetle (Rhagium mordax).

A wander round Parc Taf Bargoed after finishing in CCF found 1 Mallard with a brood of 6 newly hatched ducklings. There were 3 Reed Warblers singing in the settling pool reeds (a site record) and Small copper and Dingy skipper on the wing.

Two Slow worm's (an adult and a 1yr old) were uncovered close to home, along with two toads.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

in the sun...

Early afternoon at the usual car park provided a brief but good view of a Honey Buzzard followed 10minutes later by a Hobby.

Later at Hirwaun Ind Est a single Marsh Fritilary was on the wing.