I decided to do something different today and make brief visits to places that looked like it had good habitat for species we haven't yet recorded, staying at the sites for an hour only. I visited Lletty Brongu Sewage Works, Waun-y-Gilfach and Top Llangynwyd clear-fells. This turned out to be a good idea. I recorded another of the big four in Arctophila superbiens within 10 minutes of leaving the car. In fact I had 2, both males, on the side of the sewage works entrance road. A welcome addition to the valley list [number 108]. At Waun-y-Gilfach I had a Painted Lady Butterfly, which have been quite scarce this year so far. At Top Llangynwyd clear-fells I had 6 Eristalis rupium and these are the furthest south they have been recorded in Great Britain. In total I had 28 species of hoverfly and Top Llangynwyd held large areas of Angelica, which could be good for migrants in September.
Wednesday, 31 August 2016
Monday, 29 August 2016
With good weather forecast my plan was to do Garnwen properly, but I forgot it was Bank Holiday and there was only 1 parking spot when I arrived at 1100hrs. Nevertheless I spent a good 5hrs rummaging through the undergrowth despite the crazy looks I got off family parties, who by the look of them were on their annual walk. I recorded 33 species of Hoverfly and had a lifer in Eriozona syrphoides which was my 100th species for the valley, even though the valley list is 107 as Paul has had a few I haven't seen yet. It would not come out in the open and was tucked into the hedge, so photos were poor. Besides that a number of good other species were seen like Baccha elongata, Dasysyrphus albostriatus, Xanthogramma pedissequum, Melangyna umbellatarum, Leucozona laternaria, Xylota sylvarum, Eupeodes luniger, Epistrophe grossulariae and yet more Helophilus trivittatus. Eristalis tenax was the commonest species with 310 logged. I also had some interesting other insects, some of which I managed to photograph.
Sunday, 28 August 2016
Went for a walk for an hour between showers to see what was about, 20 species of hoverfly but nothing special. But I did get two species of moth rarely seen, both of which have been seen in the valley but nevertheless interesting.
Friday, 26 August 2016
While walking around 2 days ago, I found a large dense area of Devil's Bit Scabious about 100yds long by 30yds white. All the insect forums foam at the mouth when talking about this plant attracting insects in late summer. So I thought I'd spend 2hrs just sitting and walking round the patch to see what was there. To be perfectly honest I was gobsmacked, with hoverflies on virtually every other flower head. I recorded 32 species of hoverfly with Helophilus hybridus new for me but not the valley, as Paul had one in early July. Eristalis intricarius was abundant with 9 being present, I've only ever seen one in the valley, way back in 2012, so was delighted to get multiple shots of this species. Other good species included Baccha elongata, Platycheirus granditarsus, Eupeodes species which I can't ID from photo but looks like it could be bucculatus, I'll have to get this confirmed as it is very rare, Eristalis rupium, Helophilus trivittatus and Leucozona glaucia. Other insects were well represented in all families. So I'll upload just a few of them.
Wednesday, 24 August 2016
Besides 29 species of hoverfly there was a good cross-section of other species present today.
Following Paul's finding of 1 of the big 4 missing from our list [Eriozona syrphoides]] yesterday at Garnwen. The other 3 being Megasyrphus erratica, Arctophila superbiens and Volucella inanis. I found Megasyrphus erratica on Angelica alongside the forestry at Blaencaerau C.O.P. This species is quite widespread but slightly less common than Eriozona syrphoides. With just the one record for Glamorgan in the east of the county as shown on the map below from NBN Gateway. And is number 107 for the valley.
Tuesday, 23 August 2016
Missed out on the Eriozona syrphoides that Paul Tabor had here earlier today, but still recorded an impressive 33 species for the time of year. Stictoleptura rubra longhorn beetle records have gone crazy this year, as I pass the 50 records mark, previous best was 8 records in 2015. Had 3 male and one female rubra today. Butterflies were scarce today, but did have 2 Common Blue, which were the first for a while, and also 10+ Orange-legged Furrow Bee and a single Field Cuckoo Bee.