Thursday, 31 July 2014

An Hour at Blaencanaid

As I had to go to Merthyr, late morning, I decided to nip up the parish road, park up there and walk over to Blaencanaid for an hour or so, before getting back to work.
There wasn't too much about, bird-wise: Ravens, of course (a couple of them giving a female Sparrowhawk hell), Siskins, Redpoll, Chiff Chaffs and Willow Warblers calling and in the latter's case, singing in the scrub around the quarry.

The highlight of my brief visit was this lovely fresh Painted Lady: the first I've seen this year.

Checking the Angelica flowers for insects, I saw the beautiful, cream and black, partially migrant hoverfly Scaeva pyrastri, but it didn't like my ugly mug and made off at high speed, before I could photograph it.
On a stem of Rosebay Willowherb, I came across this distinctive Weevil, which I believe is Hylobius abietis and is common in Britain. It lays its eggs on the roots of dying Pines and Spruce, the larvae feeding on the sap wood and the emerging adults on the cambium.


Monday, 28 July 2014

A couple of local flowers

 Some more shots of the Broad Leaved Helleborine.

 I found some Fennel on the Chicken factory site last week.

 Any ideas on this one it's growing over by Abercwmboi Lake and is everywhere.

Last plant we found by Clydach reservoir on side of forest road and I also saw it up at Graig Llyn..

Sunday, 27 July 2014


Decided to go to Goldcliff for a few hours this morning no sign of the reported Little Stint but managed to see a few LRP's, Ringed Plovers, S/P, Blackwits, Greenshank, Ruff, Avocets, Dunlin, Lapwing, Redshank, Curlew and a few Common Sandpiper also two Yellow Wags off the sea wall and a single Stock Dove over, good numbers of Little Egret dotted around and only my second Clouded Yellow of the year. Really good to bump into a few of the Glamorgan Bird Club lads who were trying their best to get me to go on their China trip next May, mmmmmm!

Life and death

Forget, the Masi Mara, great drama watching the interaction of preditor and prey can be had almost anywhere, if only you look hard enough.

On a visit to Crymlin Burrows yesterday, I was entertained by a couple of hunting masterclasses from a Red-banded Digger Wasp and the sheet web spider Agelena labyrinthica.

Also of note was a superbly large Longhorn Aromia moschata

Before heading to Crymlin Burrows, I had a couple of hours seawatching from Tutt Head. Highlights were 2 Storm Petrels heading up channel. at least a dozen Harbour Porpoises were feeding over an extended area.

Moth id help please

Sorry it's a bit blurred / out of focus. I had about 6 of these yesterday at Crymlim Burrows, but can't find they on UK Moths website. It's small, but not tiny (about 10-12mm across). Each time I saw one resting, it was in a similar posture.

Insect Day

During a walk around the " Cwm " near Llanwonno this morning with the two Martins looking mainly for insects and flowers I managed the to get the following photos.
 Meadow Brown
 Common Emperor
 Common Hawker and below Common Darter

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Another quiet week for passage at Rhaslas, at least from my visits, with just singles of dunlin, common sandpiper and a whimbrel noted on Friday. Also at Llwyn-onn, ranger service report at least 3 redshank through since Sunday.

Friday, 25 July 2014


Trip report for Canada now published - see Trip Report to the right

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Yes more Canada

 Canada geese with one or two Goslings.
 White tailed Deer.
 Musk Rat
 Our Wader scrape.
 New signs on the A470
 Nice Black  Gray Squirrel .
Robs mate . Red Squirrel.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Couple shots from the Cwm

 I found this Common Hawker and it showed well.
 There were thousands of baby Toads at the reservoir today.

A bit of shit again. I have seen this shit loads of time and I still do not know who or what makes it.

Any ideas on this plant

 I found this plant today over the Cwm .The leaves look like a lily and the flowers are like spurge. Is it a type of Helleborine.There was only one there that I could see.

Local Walk

Left home to walk down the River Cynon towards Abercynon, up to the " Giant's Tooth " then back towards Mountain Ash via the mountain route. My main aim was to see if I could find some Marbled Whites which I found about this time last year near the Giant's Tooth.
Not much was seen going down the river the best being two juvenile Dippers. After crossing the main road, then under the old stone railway bridge and starting the climb upwards I started coming across scores of butterflies which were mainly Gatekeepers which were my first local ones of the year. On reaching the top of the path I wondered downhill towards the Giant's Tooth to look for the Marbled Whites fortunately connecting with two on the Cynon Valley side. I didn't go on to the lower path which is on the Merthyr side where I found the bulk of them last year. No Dark Green Fritillary's today though.
It was then onwards and upwards again towards the " Tumpy ". Still dozens of butterflies which were mostly Meadow Browns and really good numbers of Cinnabar Moths.  Further up the mountain where the path becomes more rocky I found another local first for the year 2 Graylings ( that's butterflies Rob not fish ).
Bird wise I did get a year tick totally out of the blue a Wood Warbler.
Back down in the valley I stopped for a drink of water on the old Lletty Turner's bends when I saw a flash of intense blue to my side. Grabbed my camera back out of my rucksack and snapped a few quick shots off of what turned out to be a Banded Demoiselle.
 A Surfeit of Siskins
 Gatekeeper and below Banded Demoiselle


Brief walk through at 08:30 revealed just a single dunlin, a large lonesome bull and not much else.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Odds and sods in Abernant

 Six spot burnet on marjoram .I found a load of Marjoram today in Abernant and this is the first time I have seen it in the valley.
 any ideas great looking beetle

 I found these two common blue mating and they told me to get lost.
 This moth is new to me Orange spot Piercer

Local passage

Called in at Rhaslas after shopping; ringed plover[2 juv] with singles of dunlin and little ringed plover [juv]. Also swift [10], swallow [4] and juvs of wheatear [6] and mixed ages of pied wagtail [6]. At Llwyn-onn a single calling redshank low over dam heading south at 11:30, probably just flushed by an angler.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Past Week

I haven't had much chance to do much this last week except an hour here and there. So just a few record shots. Please help with identification of the moth.

Green Shield Beetle