Sunday, 13 July 2014

The only way is.... Essex?

A round up of the weekend.
Whilst waiting for the train to work on Friday I had the largest number of Swifts I've seen over Abercynon so far this year, 20+ Interesting to note that there was at least two parties of three birds - parents with this years offspring?
On the walk home from work, I had the first 2nd brood Brimstone.

A last visit to the second Peregrine pair on Saturday morning, showed that the chick had fledged. While Dad just sat on a rock, completly non-plussed by my presence, mum was doing her nut in, flying round screeming. Junior, meanwhile while calling was keeping a low profile. From the sounds of it, only 1 juv fledged. Given Mum's agitation, I didn't stay long....

I called in to Llwyn Onn on the way up to Brecon (for an athletics meet). Not much in the way of birds - the pair of great Black-backed gulls, being the best - but a couple of scarce plants provided interest, Great Burnet Sanguisorba officinalis and Large Self-heal Prunella gradiflora Both I believe are Red-listed, though the later may prove to be a "dumped" garden variety.

WeBS this morning and the highlight was the first returning Little Grebe, while a Kingfisher showed briefly. Then over to Newport, for another athletics meet before heading over to Goldcliffe and Uskmouth. No sign of the recently reported Wood Sand' at Goldcliffe but there was a tick in the shape of an Essex Skipper.

This is a species I've been looking for locally for the past few years. While very similar to the Small Skipper, the black undersides to the tips of the antennae is the most obvious difference. Thought to be overlooked, it also appears to be spreading its range westwards. A recent report of one from Kenfig encouraged me to keep looking and today came up trumps. 1 male and 2 females at Goldcliffe, and at least 1 male at Uskmouth. The species was first reported at the Newport wetlands earlier this week.

Also at Uskmouth I found a Hummingbird Hawkmoth, that rested on the footpath, giving me the chance to take it's photo.

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