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Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Orange underwings are out!

I went this afternoon (at c 1.30pm) to check a site -Cencoed-uchaf, on the NW outskirts of Llanelli - for orange underwings. I`ve had the species here in previous years and thought that, after two days of strong sunshine, there would be a chance of success. The problem, of course, was the strong, cool easterly wind, so I settled for the NE corner of the overgrown scrubby field that was sheltered by surrounding mature woodland. The locality (which held marsh fritillaries until the c mid 1990s), has much young birch and I just kept checking the nearby birches in a wide arc.
After c 20 mins of waiting I saw one, briefly in flight before it re-settled, which offered a good view, with bins, against a backdrop of darker trees. A particularly strong gust of wind then dislodged it and it flew to some other birches nearby, where I lost it when it landed. I waited another 10 mins or so, but did not see another.
I would suggest looking for this species above young birches, if the wind dies down and if remaining sunny, in your local area; midday-early pm is normally best (though I`ve had them in good weather from mid morning to late pm). The photo below shows the habitat at Cencoed-uchaf this afternoon.

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