Sunday, 8 February 2015

Phew; What a Scorcher!

Taking advantage of a gorgeous day, I finally got around to visiting a site I have meant to look at for ages. My main reason for going to Craig Fforchaman, above the village of Glynhafod, was to look for mosses; in particular Goblin Gold, having found another site for it, at Tarren y Bwllfa on Saturday. Walking from where I parked, on the Maerdy mountain, I skirted a conifer plantation, in which I could hear Crossbills calling, as well as Robin, Redpoll  and Siskin, while out on the sheep pasture, there were three Mistle Thrushes. Dropping down alongside the plantation, which is of Larch, around its edge, I was amazed to see just within it, a plant of Pheasant Berry (Leycesteria formosa) growing happily under the larch. I wonder if it will survive the demise of the larch and replanting with an evergreen conifer species? It was nice to hear Chaffinch and Coal Tit singing. While exploring the landslip and grabben features for mosses, I heard Gos calling in the distance and saw a small party of Meadow Pipits. The sun felt pleasantly warm and there were a few insects flying about, while on some of the larger tumbled boulders, there were hunting male jumping spiders, which are always entertaining to watch close to.

The Zebra (jumping) Spider Salticus scenicus. 

Jumping Spider Salticus scenicus (male) Enjoying the Sunshine

Apart from the mosses, my other reason for going there was to visit the point at which four ordnance survey one hundred kilometre squares (SN, SO, SS and ST) meet. As you can see, it is a featureless place.

Where SN, SO, SS and ST meet.

On the way back I picked up some Snipe feathers, which had been sheared cleanly off, so either a fox kill of scavenged by a fox. A male Kestrel was a lovely sight, as I left.


  1. good read mark andi ment to go up there looking for shrike.soon what does it look like at the moment .

  2. That side of the Aman valley (opposite Coed Cae Aberaman and the Llanwynno forest doesn't look suitable fro shrike at all. As for the forest between the Maerdy mountain road and Tarren-y-Bwllfa, it looks good as far as the parts of it I saw on Saturday are concerned, but although I was looking, no shrike revealed itself.

  3. Cheer mark a will give it a couple week and have a look.