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Tuesday, 11 March 2014

`Nil Return` at Pembrey Forest

After sighting a single orange underwing at Furnace, Llanelli yesterday, I decided to have a look in the Pembrey Country Park/Forest area. Flooding in the forest (due to high water table in former slacks) prevented my access via the northern end and I entered via the Country Park. Checking of birches yielded no orange underwings so perhaps yesterday`s individual was just at the fore of the vanguard and it may be best to await another week before re-checking. There was a gentle but noticeably chilly breeze coming in off the sea, and it seemed cooler than the sheltered cwm where I`d seen an orange underwing yesterday.
Instead of wasting more time searching, I went to inspect the erosion of the foredunes - which was impressive and part of the entirely natural process of dynamic re-distribution of sediments. Interestingly, I noticed quite a lot of wild clematis along quite a long section of eroded dune, at approx. SN393005: I was not aware of this large population. I knew that Clematis grew at Pembrey Burrows c.SS412994 (ie the eastward, seaward arm) and also at the start (SN373033) of Tywyn Burrows (RAF Pembrey), but the amount of this plant was much greater here than its other two Pembrey stations.
I mention this as Clematis is the host-plant for several local Carmarthesnhire moths such as pretty chalk carpet, small waved umber, Haworth`s pug and probably other `goodies`.

Below: 1.Clematis stems dangling through sea buckthorn and other scrub. 2. General view of erosion of fore-dunes. 3. Habitat at rear of fore-dunes and the seaward front of Pembrey Forest.

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