Sunday, 26 July 2015

Butterfly count

A few bits and pieces from the last few days.

With decent weather forecast for Thursday, I decided to do the first of my two Wider Countryside Butterfly surveys along my BBS transects around Craig Yr Efail. Alas the sun rarely shone. As such numbers were poor, with only Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, a couple of Grayling and Small Heath making it on to the score card. The only moths to make it were over 100 6-spot Burnets and a Fox Moth caterpillar. Outside the transects, a Painted Lady and a (possible) Eudonia truncicolella were noted.

Every year that I've undertaken this survey my visit has co-incided with a mass hatch of Burnet Moths. Nothing surprising in that, but in every year except one, these have been 6-spot. The exception (2013 if I remember correctly) was when they were Narrow Bordered 5-spot.

After an early morings sea watch from Tutt Head yesterday (highlight were a single Arctic Tern and a more distant "commic" - though from the flight I'd guess Common - Tern, both heading west) I moved on to Crymlyn Burrows for a couple of hours. Little Blue's were common and with White-spotted Sable were additions to the year list. Best find of the visit was a dozen plus Short-winged Conehead's.

A new Tortix moth for me was also found, Acleris emargana. The unusual wing shape, apparently, makes this easy to recognise.

Finally, over to Singleton Park for coaching duties where two Yellow and Black Longhorn Beetles Rutpela maculata were noted.


  1. Good work, Martin. I gave up my WCBS squares, after failing to complete them last year. Having only a couple of spare weekends in July and August, in which to do it, it only took a bit of unsuitable weather in order to mess things up and last year, that is what happened and would have happened again this month.

  2. I know that feeling - there have been a couple of years when I've only managed one count. To counter that, there have been a couple of years when I've managed 3.