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Thursday, 16 July 2015

High and Low (well, quite high and then a little bit lower).

I put out two traps last night: the MV in the alder grove at Cwmllwyd and the actinic at Nant Oesglyn on the mountain. It was decidedly cool  and quite windy on the mountain at 04:30 this morning and it was no surprise to find very few moths in the actinic. "Highlights"  were 6x Common Swift (FFY) and 3x Dusky Brocade.

Back home shortly after 05:30 and birds had already made a start on moths outside the MV trap, leaving me only 32 species to add to the list. FFY for Cwmllwyd included another Common Swift; does anyone else find that Map-winged Swifts have been and gone before their more common cousins turn up? The other FFYs were Little Emerald (not a hint of green showing on this one), Single-dotted Wave and Ash Bud Moth.

Single-dotted Wave

Addendum: Map-winged Swifts at Cwmllwyd.

18 June 2015

4 June 2015


  1. Second Scarlet Tiger of the year in the garden this afternoon (Thursday 16th).

  2. That's a bit odd about the swifts. Common is usually the first species on the wing, and usually finished before I see Map-winged. Are you sure they're not female Gold Swift?


  3. I appreciate your interest and agree that it is odd, but it's something I have noticed for a few years at Cwmllwyd. I can't post images in a comment, so I've added an addendum to my original post. Could it be that we have a large breeding group of Map-winged, but very few Common Swifts - only one so far this year?

  4. I've just had a look at the Glamorgan database - interesting...there are plenty of July and August records. In my Cardiff garden I only ever see it over a short period, dates ranging from 10 May to 11 June. It was this that led me to question your sightings, but clearly I was wrong to do so - I shouldn't have read too much into the local situation as the phenology of this species obviously varies a lot depending on location.

  5. Thanks George. You posed a perfectly reasonable question in an attempt to explain an apparent anomaly that I raised in the original post. I'm happy with that. It occurs to me that a possible explanation could be simply that a colony of Map-winged Swifts breed at Cwmllwyd, while Common Swifts breed on the mountain, but not at Cwmllwyd. When conditions are favourable (including wind direction and speed) some may stray from the mountain and eventually end up here. Does that sound feasible?

  6. That could be an explanation. I'll have to look at the Glamorgan database and see if the later records are in the uplands.