Thursday, 6 July 2017

Darren Woods [A.M.], Foel Fawr, Caerau [P.M.]

Temperatures reached 27c in the shade and 31c in the open, so Darren Woods and its stream were the only options. There's something calming about slowly rummaging in the undergrowth so you tend to concentrate more and thus see more than if just walking the paths. Recorded 27 species of hoverfly with Chrysotoxum festivum new for the year as well as singles of Chrysotoxum bicinctum, Melangyna umbellatarum, Scaeva pyrastri, Sphareophoria scripta, Eristalis rupium and Criorhina berberina.

Other odds and sods included Green-veined White [butterfly], Marsh Snipe-fly and Bright Horsefly [horseflies], Leptopterna dolabrata [flower bug] and a Peregrine and Kestrel duelling above me for 30 minutes.

At Dusk I went for a walk up Foel Fawr behind Caerau and saw 4 pairs of Nightjar, 2 pairs in the valley boundary and 2 pairs just outside. Had really close views as a male must have been roosting 5 yards away from where I was standing and it just flew up into the nearest tree to churr. I tried the clapping [2 claps pause for two seconds 1 clap] technique also and this attracted two different males, with another displaying in the distance. First seen and heard at 2150hrs.

 Chrysotoxum festivum
 Xylota segnis - nice to get a shot of the hind femur spines, which help to distinguish it from the closely related Xylota tarda.
 Green-veined White - probably summer generation now, it's not quite Africa, but nice to see UK butterflies "mud-dipping".
 Leptopterna dolabrata
Marsh Snipe-fly

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