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Tuesday, 27 May 2014

A minor update....

Ran two traps last night (26/5), one at home and a `mobile actinic` in the old sandstone quarry at Furnace, Llanelli where I`d trapped about a week ago. Again, a very reasonable list of mostly seasonal common moths at the latter site whilst, at the Pwll home trap, was a female fox moth and my second mullein of the season.

                                          Above: female fox moth, Tyrwaun, Pwll.

Above: mullein moth at Tyrwaun. The colourful caterpillars can also easily be found on mullein plants or, sometimes Buddleja (`butterfly bush`).

I spent the sunny afternoon yesterday trying to locate new (as well as some old) marsh fritillary sites in the Llanelli area, but failed. I`d previously noted where the habitat looked promising on `Google Earth` or from memory, regarding sites I`d visited in the 1980s. Sadly, many sites had become either too rank (coarse Molinia or scrub) or had been agriculturally `improved`. The only butterflies I saw were some green-veined whites and the only moth a cinnabar - hopeless!
As I had targetted certain areas with potential, the visits were not completely devoid of wildlife however, with, for example, tree pipit, cuckoo, reed bunting sightings. Best of all was a nesting pair of lapwings on an extensive area of wet acidic pasture and grazed bog on the northern slopes of Mynydd Sylen. From the top slopes of Mynydd Sylen, there were clear views of Devon and Cornwall (and even ships in the Bristol Channel), the Preselis in Pembs and the Brechfa ridges and Bannau Sir Gar. The surviving areas of decent semi-natural vegetation are getting less and less, and I`ve most certainly seen a significant deterioration in my lifetime. I hope to survey some more potential marsh frit sites in the next week or two.

               Above: lapwing nesting area with good `moth potential` on northern side of Mynydd Sylen.

Finally, walking back to the car after a quick shop at Asda in town-centre Llanelli this morning, I found this fellow walking on the pavement! It`s a garden tiger caterpillar and I later moved it somewhere safe to avoid the feet of malicious pedestrians.

                                         Above: garden tiger caterpillar, Bres Road, Llanelli.

The weather tonight looks good for trapping, so probably will survey somewhere.

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