Sunday, 5 June 2016

Bryn Du

I spent a few hours, from mid morning to mid afternoon  in the general area of Bryn Du. I was hoping to see some butterflies up there and the bank didn't disappoint. My first priority was to see if the Kidney Vetch was okay and first impressions were not good, but once I saw my first plant and got my eye in, I could see that it was still there in the usual quantities, but as it is only just coming into flower, it is a little tricky to spot at first.

As far as lepidoptera were concerned, I had the same as Martin reported (Burnet Companion, Dingy Skipper, Orange Tip, Green-veined White, Small Blue) but I also had Large Skipper and a couple of unexpected species, the first and most unexpected being this female Marsh Fritillary, which had wandered in from somewhere not too far away, no doubt.

The second welcome surprise was a Painted Lady, which was flighty, but occasionally settled just long enough for me to grab a shot.

Bombus monticola, playing hard to get.

After I left the bank and walked further into the forest, towards Onllwyn, I saw this individual, with the damaged hind wing again, but also saw a second individual, so a bit of an influx. Looking on Atropos Flight Arrivals, Painted Ladies are being reported from a few spots and the prodigious influx of Diamond Backs is still ongoing.

My second aim of visiting the area was to get to a tiny (I mean really tiny) corner of the square SN9908. The vast majority of the square is in VC42, but Just East of the gas tank coplex, is a tiny triangular bit which is in VC41 and according to SEWBReC has only 1-10 records: given its position and size, I would guess closer to one than ten.
It was a bit of slightly rank, marshy grassland, with Purple Moor Grass, Sphagnums and associated herbage. Insects were thin on the ground, though I did see a couple of Common Heath moths, a single Diamond-back and a Small Heath butterfly. I also came across this attractive, but frustratingly unidentifiable Cranefly. [Breaking news: I have identified it as Pedicia rivosa. Apparently common, though I've never seen it before.]

Pedicia rivosa

While mooching about there, I heard a Willow Tit calling from the edge of the forest, over the fence in the VC42 bit. and while walking back along the fence line towards the car, I had a couple of Garden Warblers and to my great relief, saw a Grasshopper Warbler. I've heard a few, this year and thought I wasn't going to see one this year.

1 comment:

  1. Sound like you had a good day and me and phil so your car when we were passing on the way to hirwaun for Marsh Fritillary and in the country park tonight I so two Painted ladys