Monday, 18 July 2016

Cwm Cadlan if I could find it

I got up this morning was ready to go by 8:20, I  put my wellies in after my wet feet last weekend as I almost had web feet after being so wet. I was looking forward to going back up Cwm Cadlan and go to the dragonfly pond up on top again but as I pulled out of my road I noticed that Bryn Pica was not there but under thick fog. As I went up the valley I had a bad feeling and as I was getting closer to Hirwaun my feeling was right and Penderyn was nowhere to be seen. I had to think quick and make changes to my morning so I thought  I would try sub station ponds on the Industrial estate has I had not been there for ages. Soon I was on site, the birdlife was fairly quiet on there, highlights being 4 pairs of Coots with young of different ages, two Mallard and two Little Grebes. So I started looking for Dragonflies instead and quickly found some Common Darters and loads of Blue tailed And Common Blue Damselflies. I was watching a house sparrow hopping along and catching them so easlier and it had a beak full in no time. Has I went around the back I picked up a big Hawker and on looking closer it was a male Emperor Dragonfly, it was brilliant to watch hawking for insects over the field. I also found a fungus at the base of one of the pines, it had white spotting and after I posted a fungus on facebook the other day and was told I need to see the underside. I turned it over and the smell was pretty bad and was like when I let one go in the car and everyone rushes for the windows. Also I found this tiny wasp and was wondering if anybody knows what it is. I also noticed towards Graig y Llyn it looked clear and thought this could be a great second choice to my chill out Sunday but as I went up the road it started to rain and I thought I don' believe it but when I pulled over it stopped like magic. On I went, I was planning to visit a pond to look for Black Darter but as I walked through one of the rides I spotted a puddle and there was loads of Water Crickets on it, there must have easy fifty plus and it was great to get some shots of them. Also there was a Caterpillar which wanted swimming lessons and swam so far and thought where I have gone wrong but with a little help he was back on dry land and I have never seen a caterpillar go so fast. Also I found more Water Crickets in the next puddle and these were a lot smaller.

Once I got to the pool, I found there was loads of  Common Emerald Damselflies and large Red Damselflies but no sign of any Black Darters. I was starting to think I was not going to see any dragonflies there at all but yet again at the back of the pond there was a male Emperor Dragonfly also a female egg laying and I also found this caterpillar stroke larva below. When I left the pond I walked up the path by the reservoir where I found a True Lovers Knot moth, I had not seen one in years and best of all was I found a dead common shrew. It was covered in flies and four sexton beetles and it's been years since I saw one last. They used be a common site in the valley. I know it was smelling a bit but it was great to see this colourful beetle and watched it flying in and was amazing to see in the air .


  1. The swimming caterpillar (larva is easier) looks like a sawfly, but without a foodplant as a clue, I can't be more precise. The second larva looks like a beetle or weevil. I get Sextons fairly regularly in my garden trap.

    I was out mothing all night and didn't get to bed until four, so I spent all day Sunday in recovery.

  2. Cheers mark and great to know that Sexton beetle are common .

  3. The wasp is a Sawfly, but afraid I don't know the species