Sunday, 31 May 2015

help with moths please

A couple of moths I've either no clue about or am not sure about - both at Merthyr Mawr yesterday

 I think Broken-barred Carpet for above, but stand to be corrected.
No idea for this Micro

There were dozens of Small Argent and Sable, a Light Emerald and this Clouded Border

Also clocked my first Cinnibar and Green Tiger Beetle for the year, as well as two Cuckoo Bumblebees B. rupestris and B. bohemicus

Friday, 29 May 2015


Between showers at c10:00 hours today, a single sanderling [6th sighting of sp this passage period], dunlin[2] and usual suspects/breeding birds. 

Report of osprey at north end of Pentwyn Reservoir, c10:00 hours on Wednesday 27/05/15, driven off north by lesser black-backed gulls. I've been looking up for days, just scorched retina, no storks (cracking sighting by the lads in the south).

Monday, 25 May 2015

Long Legs and Small Doors

Phil and I bit the bullet and decided to hit Titchfield Haven for the Great Yellowlegs that has become a bit more regular of late. We arrived about 7:45, with no sign of the bird. We wandered around for a while picking up various bits and bobs, the highlight being 5 Sanderling on a single spit just off shore. Reports were that the Yellowlegs was frequenting the flooded area to the north of the reserve, so we headed off to try to locate it - apparently you park by the equestrian centre and follow the footpath to overlook the floods.

Well we found some stables, and followed a foot path.... to know where near where we wanted to be, so returned to the car. A quick check on Birdguides and the bird had re-located to the reserve. A quick dash back, and a long wait whilst one local gradually eased out of a parking space - he must of took about 5 mins - to reverse out and drive off and then we were on the bird. Great views were had till it was flushed of by one of the local Black-headed Gulls.

Both Phil and myself were quite impressed with the reserve, even if it isn't in Norfolk. We were surprised to find the Mr Gaze had a property in the locality - we did knock, but, apparently he was in West Wales. His new place is located near to Little Gays, just off Short Road, Stubbington.

                                                 Alabonia geoffrella
                                                 Miris striatus
                                             The un-anounced visit!

Rhaslas & Cantref

Rather quiet at the pond with the best being shelduck[2] originally dozing at north west corner, eventually leaving south at 08:15. Also singles of dunlin and common sandpiper. Best of the Taf Fawr reservoirs was a garden warbler giving good views at north Cantref, note! tape lure not used, it was alongside the A470 and appeared to be attempting to compete with the traffic noise, it was horrific.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Night Shift at Pwll Waun Cynon.

I ran my moth trap at Pwll Waun Cynon nature reserve, from 21:40 to 02:20, last night. Unfortunately, due to a temperature inversion, the temperature plummeted to 4.3 C, which was well below the minimum forecast and after midnight, fog kept coming and going, so the moths were relatively few.

While waiting for the moths to come, I photographed the conjunction of Jupiter, the crescent moon and Venus, spread out between the constellations of Leo and Gemini.

Jupiter (above the moon). the Moon (over exposed) and Venus,
to the right.

Later, at 22:59:36, I got this poor image of the same conjunction with an iridium flare.

An Iridium Flare and Venus in Gemini. What sort of horoscope
would that produce? 

The moth highlights of the evening had to be these two beauties:

Lime Hawk-moth

This Eyed Hawk-moth wouldn't stay still and was constantly
fluttering its wings, as it warmed up its flight muscles.

I also had a few bats. all of which were Pips, some on 45 and at least one on 55. Would the latter be Soprano, Mike?

At one point, there was a large splash from the river, which was probably an incautious Mallard being taken by one of the Cynon Giant Sticklebacks; voracious predators of waterfowl on the river here.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Llanwynno Last Night

As I couldn't go mothing last night, I decided to try the usual place in Llanwynno forest for Nightjar, arriving there a little earlier than normal, hoping for Grasshopper Warbler. Sure enough, strolling down the track from the car I soon picked up the sound of reeling and zeroing in o it I eventually, after a few changes in viewing point, managed reasonable views of it.

Kevin Hughes arrived a little while later and at 21:45, we heard and saw a NJ as it briefly churred from the top of a conifer.

Friday, 22 May 2015


RIP Dave Green, nice to see you are sticking it to the orcs right to the end. I called in twice to day: this morning; ringed plover[16], lapwing[3], snipe[2] and a single curlew. This afternoon I had an unexpected hour to kill between calls at 16:30; a single juv pied wagtail, dunlin[2], ringed plover[3], sanderling[2] having a wash and brush up plus a pair of schedule 1 birds chasing each other and lesser black-backed gull[c100].

Thursday, 21 May 2015

First Dragonfly Photo of the Year

I think this is a Banded Demoiselle, please correct me if I am wrong.


Wednesday, 20 May 2015

I found this Chick

I found this chick this morning in Robertstown and if I had not seen the adult it would have took some working out, answers on a post card pmsl.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

A Couple Shots from the last Couple of Days

 This juv Robin was very tame and came so close we had to keep stepping back.

 Welsh Poppys
 Great Stitchwort
 Great to see so many tree fossils on the forestry road.
 Lots of heavy showers last night and produced some very nice rainbows

Monday, 18 May 2015


Tried to stay away but by this evening the bad weather screamed and dragged me back; dunlin[14], ringed plover[10], curlew[2], sanderling[2] but no schedule 1 birds noted. Also at least 20 swift and c8 swallow, single red kite and the female mallard has managed to hang onto 6/10 ducklings.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Today BBS

Mark Evans and myself have been doing this survey today and in total for the last eighteen years. It is above Aberfan and doing last month's survey we found this old mine and was amazed how well preserved it was ,

 Mark getting a closer look also it was great to see the Goblin Gold moss again.

 We found an area of Match Stick Lichen and it is the most I have seen in one place.
On the way back I was looking for Green Tiger Beetle but had no luck at finding any but found this Common Toad in the middle of the road.

Sun Afternoon

 My first Burnet Companion Moth of the year at Robertstown and a couple Dingy Skippers at the same waste ground site. 

Also present were a single Peacock and two Small Tortiseshell Butterfly, it just shows when it warms up there is stuff waiting to be found.


One, two, five - three reasons to be cheerful

From today,

One Merthyr tick - at long last a Rook. Not sure where it has come from as a check at the former Rookery at Nelson this morning returned a big 0. Perhaps they have moved home.

Two year ticks - Whinchat, 2 on Craig Fargoed, and Spotted Fly - a single at Parc Taf Bargoed and a pair nest building in CCF.

Five PWC year ticks - the spot fly above + a single Wood Warb singing his heart our in CCF, a pair of Stonechat and Linnets by the climbing centre and a Starling over PTB.

Not everything went well - took camera out and it died - no power in the battery - Doh! So no photographic record of two new beetles - my first Tortoise Beetle - Cassida vibex, and a common ground Beetle - Abax parallelepipedus.

To make up a new micro moth from Friday evening -Plain Gold Micropterix calthella, id'd thanks to Paul Parsons who posted a pic of the species on the Llynfi Valley nature blog yesterday. The moth is a dapper little chap, being a uniform gold/bronze with a natty and distinctive ginger fuzz on its head (which can just be made out in my poor photo below).
I also flushed my first Silver Y and Mother of Pearl for the year, the latter when stalking a male Beautiful Demoiselle.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Look away Phil

It's OK, it's not a snake.

Whilst adding the above Slow Worm on irecord I received a notification that the record was from outside the known distribution for the species. A look on the NBN database showed no records for Slow Worm, Common Lizard, Adder and Grass Snake for Merthyr Tydfil CBC! And only Grass Snake appears to be recorded from the Cynon Valley! I've already submitted two records for Common Lizard (Mike, one was by the climbing centre). Another reminder to all to add the records of all species via SewbRECORD or irecord and fill in the gaps in the records.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Mystery photograph

From earlier this evening, one of a pair.

This is the BH 1st summer bird I mentioned to some yesterday, I watched it for quite sometime continually surface feeding at Rhaslas, but distant. There appeared to be something different about the bird so I even went back in the evening when I got the perched pic, but looking at them the only difference I can see from nominate is the paler mantle and what apppear to be longer legs but no other BH present to gauge size. Any thoughts on ssp L. r. sibiricus.


My psychiatrist has advised me that I appear to be slipping back into the reckless behaviour associated with my youth. It has now materialised into a glance and assume approach to birding and not really looking. Desperately sorry but the tern at Rhaslas was an Arctic, which makes it first for the site. I may have to lie down for a while!