Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Pan species update

A busy month saw my total jump to 695 species for the year (with a few still to id, if at all possible)
The breakdown goes as follows
Birds - 173
Mammals - 8
Amphibians - 4
Reptiles - 3
Fish - 3
Lep's - 56
Bees and Wasps - 16
Bugs - 9
Beetles - 32
Flies - 32
Dragon & Damselflies - 14
Grasshoppers - 2

other insects - 4
Centipedes & Millipedes - 2
Spiders - 8
Molluscs - 28
Anemone's - 2
Seaweeds - 3

Mosses & Liverworts - 26
Sponges - 1
Ferns and Horsetails - 13
Lichens -  27
Fungi - 39
Flowering plants - 187

                                               wild Pansy - Crymlyn Burrows
                                           Nursery-web Spider, Pisaura mirabilis - Quakers Yard
                                The spider-hunting wasp mimic hoverflies Xylota segnis - Penmeolallt
                  and Brachypalpoides lentus - Monmouth (note the all black legs of P lentus cf black and       yellow of X segnis and the slightly darker/redder? abdomen)
                                          Micropterix aureatella - Penmeolallt

                                           and I think Small Square-spot Diarsia rubi - Kenfig

Monday, 30 May 2016

Sunday Submissions

A few photos from around Pant Norton and Kenfig on today's day out with the two Martin's. We dipped on the Squacco Heron but managed a few year ticks between us all be it these were mainly insects. The Hare was taken on Friday at Cwm Cadlan.



I'm sure someone will give me the correct name for this hoverfly

Barnacle Goose flying into Kenfig with Canada Geese

Red Eyed Damselfly

Red Veined Darter

Four Spotted Chaser

Black Tailed Skimmer

Willow Warbler

Bryn du take two

I went back up this afternoon to walk the dogs and found two Small Blues in the same area as yesterday. I was ready this time with my camera and took a couple of shots and also got this Broad Bodied Chaser on the sun slopes. Also found a couple of orchids in flower and saw there were no spots on the leaves and was wondering if they are something different. I also found this Thistle and was wondering if it got weed killer on it or that virus.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Bryn Du

A quick visit this morning to sober up from my day in Cardiff, the sun was out and it was nice and warm. I was up there to check the Small Blue Butterfly site. There were lots stuff on the wing and I saw lots of Large Red Damselflies and common Blue Damselflies. Butterflies were out but seemed to be in low numbers, I saw my first Small Heath of the year, a couple of Orange Tips, Dingy Skipper and got my first Burnet Companion moth eventually seeing lots today. Also saw a couple of Green Tiger Beetles on the site and just as I was giving up I spotted a male Small Blue on the east side of the site, it was in the long grass and I got in a right Tiswas changing my lens. I lost it and spent the next hour looking for it with no joy which means I willl have to go back up and look again. I also noticed that I did not see any Kidney Vetch on the site and was wondering if they got a different food plant for the caterpillar. Down near the wheel wash I am prety sure I saw a Narrow Bordered Bee Hawk Moth, I tried to follow but lost it and never saw it again.

Saw these smart little beetles but need to check what they are, saw loads of them and they seemed to be feeding on the pollen

Also I saw loads of these but was not sure if they were moths or caddis flies but have just been told there are moths and called Micropterix Calthella and very common on buttercups.

Also saw these Orange Tip's mating and it was great to see them up close and I am pretty sure a voice said get lost I am busy.

There be dragons..

A second attempt for the Club-tailed Dragonfly and White-legged Danselfly up at Monmouth proved far mor succesfull. almost straight away on arriving I had my first Banded Demoiselle - two weeks ago the were no Odonta - quickly became several and soon became many. Whilst always nice to see, it was the two rarer spp that I was after and a soon came across a teneral female White-legged Danselfly. I eventually found 7 White-legged - all female. The Club-tailed was no where to be found, though two exuvia showed that they were around somewhere.
Eventually I flushed a dragonfly from the grass. My heart said Club-tail but my head said make sure. I followed the dragon to its resting place about 10 foot up in an Elder bush. I could just make out the abdomen and it was black with yellow wedges underneath. Yes, a female Club-tail.
Job done I made my way back to the car, picking up another couple of tick's in the form of a 10 spot ladybird and the longhorm beetle, Stenocorus meridianus.

                                          Banded Demoiselle
                                          White-legged Danselfly

                                           Club-tailed Dragonfly exuvia
                                          Stenocorus meridianus


While I was at the Nightjar site, last night, this welcome visitor dropped by. It was only when I was processing the images, today, that I noticed what she'd been up to.

Fox Moth, Egg Laying


The above crab spider Xysticus cristatus took a fancy to a piece of Swollen-thighed Beetle for lunch yesterday up at Hirwaun Sidings - the Beetle had other thoughts however, and managed a rapid getaway. I did pick up three new moths for the year, plenty of Burnet Companion, a Common Wave and a lifer in the shape of the tortix Eupoecilia angustana, but no sign of any Green Hairstreaks.
 On to Bryn Du, and a surprise in the shape of my second every Red-necked Footman.
Three Smooth Newt were watched - a couple of males displaying to a female. A quick look at the Pyramidal Orchid site saw over 30 basal rosette's noted in a small area (didn't go through the whole area), so looks like we could be in for a great display this year.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Nightjar at Last!

I visited the usual Llanwynno site, last Saturday and was disappointed to hear only one male churring distantly and briefly, before shutting up and getting on with feeding. I never saw it, but given the cool, breezy conditions, I wasn't surprised.
Last night, determined to see my first NJ, I nipped up to another area of forestry. There has been a pair holding territory there for around ten years; since the area was clear-felled and partly replanted. The conditions were near perfect, with midges and mosies galore, though there was the threat of a heavy shower or two moving in from the Cardiff area and it was because of that threat that I left it to last minute before giving it a try.
Due to the late decision, I wasn't getting to the area until 21:40, but as I walked into the site, I was immediately rewarded by a male churring close by and seeing it sitting on top of a small pine, about 10 metres away was just what I'd hoped for. It flew off and came close past me, giving great views of the white spots on its tail and wings. Very quickly, it was joined by a female, and they flew in tandem for a minute or so, while at the same time another male began churring from not far away.
The pair flew across the ride in front of me and I watched, the female suddenly drop into the ground vegetation, the male heading off and then churring from further away. As he was doing that, a second pair flew over me and after making a few passes over the more open areas in front of me, they disappeared. I stayed for a while longer, though by that time, it was getting quite dark, during which time, I heard a little more fitful churring and flight calls.

While there I also heard something potentially interesting. In the distance, from a plantation of semi mature spruce, came a constant and monotonous sound of a faint, fairly deep "Who... who... who... who!" calls, repeated continuously for minutes on end. It never varied in either volume or tone and was obviously being made by an owl, but not a Tawny. I believe it was a Long-eared, which is why I have deliberately withheld the name and locality of the site.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Couple of Beetles from Yesterday

I found two Fourteen Spotted Ladybirds in my Nettle Patch in my Garden, always nice to see and shows how inportant it is to have some in your Garden.

When working in Penywaun I noticed some Scarlet Lily Beetles in someones garden and asked if I could takes some shots of these little beauties, first time this year I have seen them .