Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Buzzard Feeding Station

Just a couple of rather crappy shots of two Buzzards that appeared at my feeding station behind the caravan today to clear up two duck carcases put out for them. The tree in the photos is around 12 feet from my office window in the caravan. Its a real privalage to be able to watch such magnificent birds mere feet from my window.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Last Nights Moths 18/9/08

Not too many moths in the trap last night due in part to the falling temperatures due to clear skies and a hot sunny day. I was well pleased when emptying the trap this morning and finding a pristine specimen of Black Rustic (shown in photos), a moth a have only ever seen as pinned museum specimens back in Yorkshire.

Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana)
Garden Carpet (Xanthorhoe fluctuata)
Common Marbled Carpet (Chloroclysta truncata)
Brimstone Moth (Opisthograptis luteolata)
Setaceous Hebrew Character (Xestia c-nigrum)
Black Rustic (Aporophyla nigra)
Flounced Chestnut (Agrochola helvola)
Angle Shades (Phlogophora meticulosa)
Silver Y (Autographa gamma)

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Last Nights Moths 16/9/08

As the weather seemed promising last night despite the rather wet day I decided to run the MV moth trap by the caravan. Not a large list of species of huge numbers but its always useful to run the trap every few day to sample the local moth population. I have noticed that apart from the Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana) which occurs in large numbers I seem to get very few microlepidoptera compared to my garden in Yorkshire which was in mature woodland. I had another new species for my life list last night, ironically a micro moth called Eudonia angustea, a mainly coastal species that feeds on mosses as a larvae. Still numbers of the third brood of Brimstone Moth, these are incredibly small being the size of a Common Carpet. I also had my first "migrant moth" in the area in Rush Veneer.

Photos from bottom up
Brimstone Moth
Rush Veneer
Pink Barred Sallow
Frosted Orange
Feathered Ranunculus
Setaceous Hebrew Character


Parsnip Moth (Depressaria heraclei)
Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana)
Eudonia angustea
Rush Veneer (Nomophila noctuella)
Brimstone Moth (Opisthograptis luteolata)
Autumnal Rustic (Eugnorisma glareosa)
Setaceous Hebrew Character (Xestia c-nigrum)
Square-spot Rustic (Xestia xanthographa)
Feathered Ranunculus (Polymixis lichenea)
Pink-barred Sallow (Xanthia togata)
Plain Golden Y (Autographa jota)

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Out and about in the SUN !!

A glorious weekend here on the Llyn (raining again now sadly) encouraged Sue and I out with our visitor from Calderdale Edie Jolley to show her some of the wildlife and scenery of the area. Our best spot of the weekend was a young Slow worm we spotted on a track on the side of Garn Fadryn. It was busy sunning itself on the road edge and after we took its photo we removed it to safety on the verge, just in time as it happens as a car came along seconds later. Second best sighting was a large Gold Ringed Dragonfly we found munching away on a fly it had caught on a track up from the beach near Edern.
We took a trip up to view Bardsey island from the the headland at Myndd Mawr and luckily on the way down spotted some Choughs for Edie to bag on her first visit. We also had Raven and Buzzard over the weekend. We had some cracking walks around the area, saw some marvelous wildife and best of all shared some sunshine & scenery with good friends.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Last Nights Moths 11/9/08

A promising start quickly went downhill as the weather changed from warm and overcast to clear and cold. I ran my new Mercury Vapour Moth trap last night in a test run and was satisfied with the early catch but this soon tapered off as the temperatures dropped rapidly.

Species Recorded.

1038x Acleris laterana/comariana

1041 Acleris sparsana

1048 Garden Rose Tortrix (Acleris variegana)

1356 Garden Pebble (Evergestis forficalis)

1508 Stenoptilia bipunctidactyla

1719 Oblique Carpet (Orthonama vittata) new life record

1764 Common Marbled Carpet (Chloroclysta truncata)

1906 Brimstone Moth (Opisthograptis luteolata)

1949 Square Spot (Paradarisa consonaria)

2102 Flame Shoulder (Ochropleura plecta)

2126 Setaceous Hebrew Character (Xestia c-nigrum)

2134 Square-spot Rustic (Xestia xanthographa)

2306 Angle Shades (Phlogophora meticulosa)

2353 Flounced Rustic (Luperina testacea)

2441 Silver Y (Autographa gamma)

2442 Beautiful Golden Y (Autographa pulchrina)

2484 Pinion-streaked Snout
Photos show Oblique Carpet and the large number of A.rufipes and Dung beetles in the trap

Friday, 5 September 2008

Elephant Hawk-moth (Deilephila elpenor)

Sue and I rescued this rather spectacular caterpillar from the road near Llaniestyn Church, fortunately Sue spotted it crossing the road and managed to avid squashing it. We rescued it as I thought it was probably looking for a site to pupate in safety. I took a few photos and placed it in a tupperware box with some soil and leaf mould and its dissapeared from sight below ground where it will make a cell for itself, moult its skin and pupate to emerge as the beautiful moth shown in the photo around May or June next year.

Amongst the rain some sun !

Despite the almost biblical downpours around the Llyn in the last week or so, we have had the occasional very warm spell which brought insects out in some numbers.A nice sighting was a several Banded Demoiselle near a small stream running out into the sea on the north coast near Edern. I only managed a quick shot of a male. We also saw huge number of the ants Lassius niger and Lassius flavus swarming at every available opportunity. Its not surprising that the Choughs are doing well in the area with the amount of their favorite food available.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Along the Coast above Nefyn

Sue and I had a superb walk in some welcome Sunshine on Thursday. A Coolish breeze kept the temperatures down somewhat but nevertheless it as one of the warmer days in this misrable summer so far.

We found a nice large patch of Butterwort sp. My botanical skills are not up to identifying this one for certain but we think its common Butterwort. I have only seen this in one small patch in my home area of Calderdale but we found an area of seepage on the seashore which contained dozens of plants.

For once there were quite a variety of insects about and we found some huge (body length on around 1 inch !) what we think were a type of Ichneumons feeding on an umberllifer. They are possibly the largest Ichneumons we have ever seen and they presumably are parasitic on largish lepidoptera caterpillars.

We also saw various individuals of what I belive are type of Hoverfly called Helophilus but I am not able to definately ID to species for certain from the photos and I did not wish to take and kill a specimen simply to satisfy my curiosity.

Lots of birds around as usual but until I get my Digital SLR set and working I have no chance with the point and snap digital we use for close ups of plants and insects of getting any decent bird photos.
Photos from top down
1& 2 the Hoverfly
3&4 the Ichneumons
5&6 Butterwort

Last Nights Moths 22/8/08

Despite the hot sunny day the trap last night proved to be another dissapointment due to clearing skies and rapidly dropping temperatures. I did have another new life tick for my species in list with two individuals of Magpie Moth. I have never recorded this species before so was well pleased. Photos show Magpie Moth and the beetle Aphodius rufipes

Nicrophorus investigator
Aphodius rufipes


Blastobasis adustella
Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana)
Flame Carpet (Xanthorhoe designata)
Magpie Moth (Abraxas grossulariata)
Flame Shoulder (Ochropleura plecta)
Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba)
Flounced Rustic (Luperina testacea)

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Last Nights Moths 20/8/08

The rather unsettled summer weather continues which unfortunately is lowering numbers and species range at the Actinic Moth Trap in my garden at Edern. Last night looked promising with cloudy skies and a warmish breeze but as the night progressed the rain got heavier and any sensible moths departed back to cover

Trap List
Nicrophorus investigator....beetle in the photo

Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana)

Flame Carpet (Xanthorhoe designata)

Garden Carpet (Xanthorhoe fluctuata)

Common Carpet (Epirrhoe alternata)

Flame Shoulder (Ochropleura plecta)

Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba)

Common Rustic agg. (Mesapamea secalis agg.)

Friday, 15 August 2008

Maya 1993-2008

Some photos of our beloved old Springer Spaniel , Maya who sadly died after only two months in her new home on the Llyn. At least her last couple of months were spent in the lanes and on the beaches she had enjoyed over the last three years of our visits to the Llyn. Maya came to us at the advanced age of nine from Springer Spaniel Rescue and despite not having much of a life before she quickly took to long walks, swims and the out door life in general, chasing seagulls and ducks was her second favorite occupation after eating ! For an old dog she discovered how to be an overgrown pup again and spent hours hill walking with Sue and I even though it took some weeks for her pads to harden up so that she could walk comfortably. She also learned how to swim by the simple method of jumping in the local canal in pursuit of ducks. Her swimming grew increasingly strong as we discovered when she swam out into the bay at Criccieth on one of our first visits to the Llyn. She was hot pursuit of some seagulls she felt sure she could catch if only she could swim out a little further ! We knew she had reached an advanced age at 15, but hoped the sea air on the Llyn could give her a few more years yet, sadly it was not to be, but at least she enjoyed life and the Llyn to the very end.

Gone but not forgotton, Maya... March 1993- August 2008

Out and About

First post for some time due to a combination of bad weather, visitors, trips back to Yorkshire and the sad death of my Springer Spaniel Maya.
Sue and I have had some cracking cycle rides this week in much better weather than was forecast at the start of the week. We have been mainly on the route we take via Tudweiliog, Sarn, Rhiw, back along the coast and then up to Mynytho, across the Peninsular and back to Edern. the small sheltered lanes with "clouths" which in the main are like mini hay-meadows. Most common butterfly at the moment is Gatekeeper which is around in huge numbers despite some of the poor weather we have experienced this year. Its not uncommon to see 5 or 6 Gatekeepers feeding on one flower and counts of 30 to 40 in well flowered and sheltered spots is not unusual. This abundance is a real eye-opener for someone who has spent is life in an area when its unusual to see 30-40 butterflies in a week sometimes !

Species seen in the last week
Common Blue,Small Copper,Painted Lady,
Small Tortoiseshell,Peacock,Red Admiral,
Gatekeeper,The Wall ,Meadow Brown,
Large White,Small White Green Veined White,Small Heath

Lots of individuals of a Dor Beetle seen in the last week on just about any part of the Llyn we have cycled or walked. Not sure of the species but its a beautiful colour. There are also large numbers of Grasshoppers around at the moment, again not too sure of species but boy are they around in some numbers ! One species which is also now probably extinct in my home town of Halifax is Garden Tiger. Its reasonably frequent to light on the campsite and we have found the larvae (and removed to safety) crossing many of the lanes we have cycled in the last week.

Monday, 28 July 2008

This Weekends Heatwave

Lots of interesting insects and birds around this weekend, mainly spotted on the coast or Garn Fadryn whilst trying to get some breeze to cool off !
Garden Tigers (top two photos)keep arriving at the tiny actinic trap in the garden of my caravan most nights. Next photo show a Bee Moth (Aphomia sociella), they feed as caterpillars inside bee and wasp nests and can be a pest of bee hives. Seems to be quite common of the Llyn as I record them most nights. Next photo shows a pair of Gatekeeper butterflies in cop. This species is one of the most common species seen around the peninsular so far this summer whilst out walking and cycling.
Most spectacular bird sighting of the weekend was very close views of a Merlin as it flew alongside our car on the road up to Garn Fadryn village. We also had close views of Ravens feeding on a recently deceased Sheep carcase in a field below Garn Fadryn