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Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Pembrey Forest

I was at Pembrey Forest today to carry out the first visit for our annual monitoring of Grizzled and Dingy Skippers at the site. The place was in a bit of a state with widespread flooding along the trackways (and elsewhere in the dune slacks) and several wind-thrown pines blocking some of the tracks. But in the drier areas there were plenty of butterflies, with better numbers of Dingy and Grizzled than the last couple of years. Also a couple of Green Hairstreak and Small Blue (the latter hopefully just the vanguard) and my first Common Blue and Small Heath of the year.

Grizzled Skipper
Best of all though was a single Anania funebris, only seen as I had to make a detour along an unfamiliar ride to avoid a flooded section of track. The location (SN388022) was about 400m from the one I saw in 2012. This second sighting in 3 years makes the possibility that the species is breeding in the forest much more likely (Goldenrod is present but is quite localised). Just like the 2012 individual, it was hyperactive and refused to pose for a photo, and then buzzed off at speed!

Also seen were some old friends which I see at Pembrey each year: Elachista argentella, Grapholita janthinana and Opsibotys fuscalis. I also had a quick look for Coleophora cases and found the two species below, as well the ubiquitous serratella on birch.

Coleophora discordella case on Bird's-foot Trefoil
Coleophora lusciniaepennella case on Grey Willow


  1. An interesting account George, with some nice sightings. Good to hear of the continued presence of the beautiful (and distinctive) pyralid Anania funebris. It also occurs on the quartzite ridge near Carmel (a good one for Mat to check!..hint, hint), where it is found near the upper part of the pathway to the mast at Garn-big as well as lower down. Barry Stewart had it at an old mine site at Betws (not far from Steve Lucas`s home). It might be worth allowing an extra few days before checking these slightly cooler inland sites.
    We have to remember that the flooding at Pembrey Forest is crucial in maintaining the water table at the adjacent Tywyn Burrows (RAF Pembrey)....marsh frits, narrow-bordered bee-hawk, dune slack plants etc, and attempts at major drainage should be resisted. I was planning to go to Pembrey yesterday afternoon...but did the long-standing garden jobs instead!

  2. Yes, I understand the flooding is natural and a high water table is important, it's just inconvenient when doing surveys!

    Forgot to mention macro-moths seen yesterday: Mother Shipton, Burnet Companion, Ruby Tiger, Cinnabar, Green Carpet and larvae of Yellow-tail and Drinker.

    I'll be back at Pembrey next week (weather permitting) so will have a better look for Anania.